Success can bring accolades and awards, but at times, it also presents problems. As the Redskins' offense piled up guady yardage totals this season, the prospect of losing offensive coordinator Sean McVay to a head coaching gig became more realistic. Now it seems McVay has emerged as a very serious contender for the Rams vacant job, and that poses a potential quandry for Washington coach Jay Gruden.
If McVay leaves, who should replace him? And how does Gruden keep the offensive momentum working?
It seems the Redskins would promote internally to replace McVay. The two leading candidates for that position would be offensive line coach Bill Callahan and quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh.
Callahan has decades of coaching experience, both as a head coach and at coordinator. His greatest success came in Oakland in the early 2000s, and he also ran the offense for the Cowboys and was head coach at University of Nebraska. Cavanaugh played QB in the NFL from 1978-1991 and has coached in various spots since. Named the QB coach in January 2015, Cavanaugh has worked extensively with Kirk Cousins since his emergence as the Redskins starter that fall.
Another internal candidate to consider would be tight ends coach Wes Phillips. Much younger than Cavanaugh or Callahan, Phillips currently coaches tight ends in Washington. Three seasons ago, the 'Skins promoted a young Sean McVay from tight ends coach to offensive coordinator, and the move worked out pretty well, not to mention Phillips' NFL pedigree that includes both his father and grandfather being head coaches in the league.
Assuming Cousins stays on to quarterback the Redskins, not much should change with Washington's offensive attack, regardless who is named coordinator. The biggest question would be about play calling, an area McVay handled in 2016. Gruden has deep roots as a play caller, and handled the duties his first season in Washington. Callahan and Cavanaugh have plenty of input towards play calling as well.
Should McVay leave, it seems unlikely to expect much change on the offensive side for the 'Skins. One big difference, however, will be a new, alebit familiar, voice in Cousins' helmet calling the plays.
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