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3 potential concerns with Redskins' promotion of Greg Manusky to defensive coordinator

3 potential concerns with Redskins' promotion of Greg Manusky to defensive coordinator

News broke Sunday that the Redskins will promote outside linebackers coach Greg Manusky to defensive coordinator, replacing the departed Joe Barry.

There are plenty of reasons for the hire, laid out here, but also potential concerns with the team's decision.

  1. Backup plan? - The Redskins brought in a number of other candidates for the defensive coordinator, some with better track records than Manusky. While Manusky was always viewed as a strong candidate, fans must hope that he was not the backup option for the job after names like Wade Phillips went to the Rams and Gus Bradley to the Chargers. While complying with the NFL's Rooney Rule could have been cause for some delay, if the 'Skins knew Manusky was the guy, it will be interesting to hear what Jay Gruden or Scot McCloughan answer when asked about the length of time it took to promote Manusky after Barry's dismissal. 
  2. About last year... - The Redskins defense performed terribly in 2016, ranking at or near the bottom in a number of important statistical measures. Manusky was part of that staff, and while it was his not role to dictate scheme or adjust game plans, he was still on the staff. 
  3. The other side of player development - Manusky has gotten some credit for the development of third-year pro Trent Murphy. Working with Manusky as the outside linebackers coach, Murphy recorded eight sacks in 2016. In his two seasons prior, both without Manusky, Murphy had just six sacks combined. Getting more from Murphy was undoubtedly a strong bullet point on Manusky's resume, but what about the sophomore sack slump from Preston Smith? The former Mississippi State star went from eight sacks as a rookie in 2015 to five sacks in 2016. It's a bit of a stretch to attribute Smith's drop in production as a direct result of the outside linebackers coach, but if Manusky gets credit for Murphy's development, it's fair to point out Smith's dip. 

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

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Ranking the 2018 Redskins Roster: Revealing 31-53

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Various sources

Ranking the 2018 Redskins Roster: Revealing 31-53

At NBCSportsWashington.com, we projected the Redskins’ 53-man roster (offensedefense) right after minicamp.

Now we are taking it one step further and ranking the 53 players we think will make the team.

The rankings are determined by who we think will have the most impact on the 2018 Redskins.

No consideration was given for past performance or for what a particular player might do down the road. We’ll be revealing the rankings between now and the start of training camp. 

<<CLICK HERE FOR OUR 2018 REDSKINS RANKINGS, PLAYERS 53-31>>

Today we’re starting up the list with the players we ranked from 31-53, Here are some of the players in our latest update:

— Seven of the team’s draft picks, including the pick they made last week.     

— All three specialists.

— The team’s leading rusher from 2017.   

<<CLICK HERE FOR OUR 2018 REDSKINS RANKINGS, PLAYERS 53-31>> 

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10 Questions in 10 days: What is Kevin O’Connell's new role in Redskins offense?

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USA TODAY Sports

10 Questions in 10 days: What is Kevin O’Connell's new role in Redskins offense?

With Redskins Training Camp set to begin July 26th, JP Finlay takes a look at 10 of the most pressing questions for the Burgundy and Gold. 

No. 10: Major questions at linebacker on Redskins depth chart 

No. 9: What is Kevin O’Connell's new role in Redskins offense?

It might be hard to remember now, but there was a week late last season for the Redskins where most informed people considered Kevin O'Connell on his way out. The talented young quarterbacks coach was being pursued by Chip Kelly to be offensive coordinator at UCLA, and the smart money suggested O'Connell would take the job. 

Except he didn't. 

O'Connell decided to stay with the Redskins and continue to work on Jay Gruden's staff. In turn, Washington promoted O'Connell to passing game coordinator, a new title that likely means much more involvement in game-planning. 

Working for Gruden comes with some perks. Sean McVay ran the offense for Gruden for a few seasons and landed a prime head coaching job with the Rams. McVay has plenty of his own talent, but throughout the NFL, Gruden's offense is widely respected. 

How will O'Connell's influence shape things this fall?

Consider that he deserves some credit for Kirk Cousins improved play out of the pocket in 2017. Now combine a coach that schemes plays for QBs on the move with new Washington passer Alex Smith, a strong runner and serious athlete, and this offense could look much more mobile in 2018. 

Gruden still has the final call on gameday, but O'Connell's voice will matter this year, more so than before. Bill Callahan and Matt Cavanaugh retain their roles and prominence in the offensive game-planning, for sure, but as Washington imports more run-pass option plays and QB movement, know that O'Connell is playing his part. 

Things will look different with Alex Smith running the Redskins offense than they did with Kirk Cousins at the helm. 

Just remember, O'Connell didn't turn down a job in Hollywood for no reason. 

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