Here is what you need to know on this Monday, January 8, 65 days before NFL free agency starts.
—NFL franchise tag deadline (3/6) 57
—NFL Draft (4/26) 108
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 244
Quick take—Any coaching changes coming?
It’s been a week since the Redskins season ended and they had known for a few weeks that it would end on New Year’s Eve. And we have yet to see any changes to the coaching staff. This is mildly surprising as the team did not make the playoffs for the second straight season. That won’t necessarily prompt a housecleaning in most cases but the expectation is that some desks in the assistant coaches’ wing of Redskins Park would be emptied. It could still happen, and some might leave to fill staff openings as new head coaches assemble their staffs, but every day that goes by makes it less likely that a change will be made.
The one name that prompted the most speculation was that of special teams coach Ben Kotwica. The Redskins were 22nd in the league in special teams DVOA per Football Outsiders. There were some critical errors, particularly in the two games against Dallas. In the first one, the Cowboys blocked a field goal, causing a key swing in the game and the second one essentially ended in the second quarter when Dallas returned a punt for a touchdown. But Kotica’s special teams have been solid, ranking sixth in 2015 and 13th in 2016. He didn’t forget how to coach.
If there are no coaching changes, it appears that the rash of injuries the team suffered this year will be taken into account. The team finished the season with 20 players on injured reserve. In all, there were 145 games missed by starters or by key reserves. I know that the mantra is “next man up” and that’s fine as far as it goes. But it’s mostly nonsense. The team gave Jordan Reed, who missed 10 games, a big contract extension for a reason. Trent Williams, who missed five games makes $15 million per year because he’s that much better than most left tackles. Jonathan Allen, who missed 11 games, was the 17th pick in the draft for a reason. You get the idea. Backups are backups because they are not as talented.
Tandler on Twitter
Tweeted during the Jaguars-Bills barnburner yesterday:
This game should serve as a reminder that being a “playoff team” or even a “division winner” is no necessarily mean that a team is any good.— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) January 7, 2018
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