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History with Redskins might not help Gregg Williams if D-coordinator job opens up

History with Redskins might not help Gregg Williams if D-coordinator job opens up

Despite going 5-3 in the season's final eight games as interim head coach, the Browns decided not to keep Gregg Williams on in that role for the 2019 season. 

In fact, Cleveland went with one of Williams' assistant coaches, offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens, instead of retaining Williams. 

So Williams will again be available for employment. Does that mean he could be a fit for Washington?

There are a million things to consider here.

First and foremost, the Redskins still have not announced any staff changes, including defensive coordinator Greg Manusky. It's widely believed Manusky will be fired, but until it actually happens, all of this is just speculation. 

Williams could also be a hot commodity as a defensive coordinator.

Or at least, he should be.

During the 2018 edition of HBO's Hard Knocks training camp show, Williams suggested he's had more than ten head coaching job offers, including multiple where he "didn’t even have to interview, just show up and sign the contract."

While that's probably hyperbole, Williams is a known defensive commodity in the NFL. He gets teams to play hard, tenacious defense and does not allow for chicanery on or off the field.

Some of that reputation isn't so good though. Everyone knows about Williams' role with the Saints during Bounty Gate, and that he was out of the league three seasons following an indefinite suspension. 

But what some Redskins fans seem to be forgetting is how Williams' tenure ended in Washington.

He served as Redskins defensive coordinator from 2004 to 2007 during Joe Gibbs second run with the organization. There were some good defenses during that era, and many considered Williams the heir apparent to Gibbs. There were also instances where Williams' abrasive style showed up on the sideline.

He had a few spots where he showed up Gibbs, an icon with the team. The most memorable example was when Williams elected to line up 10 players on defense in the first game after Sean Taylor's tragic passing.

While it was a nice tribute, Williams never told Gibbs that it was the plan, and it became obvious after the game that the Hall of Famer didn't know. 

Williams thought and expected he would get the head coaching job when Gibbs retired in 2007. Instead, the club let Williams walk and hired Jim Zorn. To run Williams' defense, the team promoted his lietuenant Greg Blache. 

It didn't end well back then between Williams and the Redskins. 

That might not matter now, 11 years later, but it is worth remembering. 

Jay Gruden will be the Redskins' head coach in 2019. That's the one thing that seems certain about the Washington coaching staff. Players love Gruden, and he has built the reputation as a player's coach. Some would argue he could use a bad cop to balance his good cop attitude.

Williams would absolutely come in and play the bad cop role. 

In the NFL, like life, bridges get burned. It happens.

In Ashburn, can they get rebuilt?


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Latest report on Jay Gruden's frustration is understandable but not shocking

Latest report on Jay Gruden's frustration is understandable but not shocking

The Redskins know major dysfunction.

Scot McCloughan's sloppy dismissal. The divorce of RG3 and Mike Shanahan. Albert Haynesworth vs. The Conditioning Test. The Bingo Caller. Swinging Gate 1. Swinging Gate 2. 

Those incidents highlight true, utter dysfunction within the organization. Monday's report of head coach Jay Gruden growing increasingly frustrated by his role in free agency doesn't touch those episodes, but it isn't good news either. 

Eric Bickel of 106.7 the Fan's Sports Junkies reported Monday morning that Gruden was not involved in Washington's decision to sign Landon Collins and has been kept out of the loop much of this offseason (video above). 

On some level, however, that's not a surprise. 

The Redskins have been fairly open about their collaborative football structure, where the scouting and player evaluation side of the building does not always engage with the coaching staff.

Doug Williams explained just that last Thursday after the press conference announcing Collins' arrival. 

"I don't do the scheme thing," Williams said. 

Williams, the Redskins Senior Vice President of Player Personnel, said that at the Scouting Combine and pre-draft workouts the scheme is irrelevant and that talented players should be able to fit into the existing scheme. 

"When we look at players we look at talent. It's up to the defensive coordinator and the defensive back coaches to scheme him up," Williams said of the Collins' signing. "We're not in the room with the scheme. I don't know exactly what the scheme is." 

That might sound weird, but it's not new.  

Last year, after the Redskins traded for Alex Smith, Williams and Gruden revealed they were kept out of the loop on that deal too. Williams explained then that Bruce Allen makes the trades, and ultimately, the team president makes final decisions in all football related matters. 

Maybe Gruden's frustration level is higher now, but at the end of the 2018 season, the coach touched on the same topic when asked about needed improvements at Redskins Park.

"I think just moving forward we all have to be on the same page as far as personnel, coaching and all that stuff," Gruden said at his end of season press conference. 

It doesn't sound like the personnel side and the coaching staff are on the same page right now, but maybe that's by design? 

For a team with consecutive 7-9 records and no playoff berths in their last three seasons,it's hard to argue the current design has led to much success. Injuries and bad luck have been a factor, but at a certain point, maybe the processes of both the coaching and evaluation side need to be reexamined. 

By the sounds of Bickel's report, that time has come for Jay Gruden. 


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Redskins are giving Ereck Flowers a one-year deal and a chance to spark his career

Redskins are giving Ereck Flowers a one-year deal and a chance to spark his career

The Redskins and former top-10 pick Ereck Flowers agreed to a one-year contract on Monday, the team announced.

The 24-year-old has yet to fully put it together in the NFL, despite playing a ton for both the Giants and the Jaguars. In his four pro seasons, Flowers has 55 starts and has appeared in 59 total games. 

So, you can look at this transaction from one of two angles: 1) The 'Skins just signed a guy who has shown, in plenty of chances, to still be quite raw, or 2) The 'Skins just signed a guy with lots of experience who'll be useful in spot duty if needed.

While it's tempting to look at Flowers' track record and leave with the first takeaway, it's probably better to end up closer to the second.

Of course, Washington isn't signing the Miami product to start at tackle, considering Trent Williams and Morgan Moses are entrenched there. With that being said, they needed a versatile backup to play behind those two since they tend to get dinged up and Ty Nsekhe is no longer in town.

The team hopes 2018 third-round pick Geron Christian can eventually become that long-term solution, but he hardly played as a rookie in 2018. Getting Flowers in the building gives Jay Gruden another option.

Now, one thing fans have been asking regarding any offensive lineman recently is whether (insert big person here) will play guard for the Redskins. Perhaps Bill Callahan wants to try that experiment with Flowers, but as of now, there's no indication that's in play.

Flowers' new contract can be worth up to $4 million, but you can assume the guarantees are on the very cheap side. In fact, it's no lock he's even on the 53-man roster come September.

With all that being said, though, he wouldn't have gone in the top 10 in 2015 if he didn't have some ability. Perhaps he'll figure things out in Washington, where he won't be relied on to start like he has in past stops. If you're going to take a flier, he's not the worst choice to take one on.