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Jay Gruden 'felt most comfortable' promoting Greg Manusky to D-coordinator

Jay Gruden 'felt most comfortable' promoting Greg Manusky to D-coordinator

Redskins coach Jay Gruden explained he learned a lot of football during the defensive coordinator search, but in the end, felt most comfortable with Greg Manusky. 

"We did a lot of work, especially on the defensive side of the ball. I learned a lot of football," Gruden said on Redskins Nation (full video above). "The way we felt most comfortable was we hired Greg Manusky."

Washington interviewed a number of candidates after Joe Barry was dismissed in early January though eventually the decision came down to promote Manusky from his position as outside linebackers coach. The 'Skins moved relatively quick on Manusky once Gus Bradley agreed to take over as defensive coordinator of the Los Angeles Chargers.

READ ALSO: Greg Manusky's new defensive philosophy involves gum and an expletive 

Bradley had been considered by some to be the top choice for the job. Experience helped Manusky too, as the new defensive coordinator has served in that role on three different teams, has played and coached for the Redskins before, and is known to be close with GM Scot McCloughan from their days in San Francisco. 

Considering Manusky was on Barry's staff that coached a poor statistical defense in the NFL in 2016, it's hard to know what schematic changes to expect. Gruden said Manusky's impact could go past scheme, however.

"Greg sold me because he was sold on the players we have," Gruden said. "He’s a great motivator. They have to want to play for the coach."

Numerous Redskins players spoke highly of Manusky's candidacy, and others responded positively on social media after news of Manusky's hiring leaked out. 

"I think we're going to play with a lot more passion," Gruden said. 

Passion is great, but the Redskins need more talent on the defensive side of the ball. Part of that process begins this week in Mobile, Ala., as Gruden and Scot McCloughan are expected to travel to the Senior Bowl and scout possible 2017 draft picks. CSN will be there, stay tuned for content looking at draft prospects. 

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

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Jason Garrett reportedly to stay in NFC East, becomes Giants offensive coordinator

Jason Garrett reportedly to stay in NFC East, becomes Giants offensive coordinator

Former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett has agreed to become the new offensive coordinator of the New York Giants, according to a report from ESPN

He will join the staff of first-year head coach Joe Judge.

Garrett was recently let go after a 10-year unimpressive stint with the Dallas Cowboys. In that span, he only led the team to three playoff appearances and with that two playoff wins. 

The team under-performed in 2019 after starting the season with Super Bowl aspirations. Stumbling to an 8-8 record, It became clear that Garrett was the not the answer at head coach. Following the end of the regular season, the team decided to go in another direction replacing him with former Packers coach Mike McCarthy.

The Princeton alum led the Cowboys to an 85-67 overall record during his tenure in Dallas.

As a former backup QB for the Giants (2000-03) and Cowboys (1993-99), he has an extensive background in game-planning against the NFC East.

Judge was named head coach on Jan. 7 after spending eight seasons with the Patriots. He was promoted to special teams coordinator in 2015, and also became the team's wide receiver coach in 2019.

Garrett and Judge will be tasked with developing a young roster with some intriguing options at their disposal, as well as the No. 4 overall pick in April's draft.

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DeAngelo Hall defends cornerback Josh Norman, but believes Redskins should move on

DeAngelo Hall defends cornerback Josh Norman, but believes Redskins should move on

Redskins cornerback Josh Norman has drawn criticism because of his performance in D.C. during his 5-year, $75 million contract he signed in April 2016. Former Redskins defensive back DeAngelo Hall came to Norman’s defense during a radio appearance with Craig Hoffman on 106.7 The Fan on Friday.

“He does compete, he’s a competitor. And if I have a football player on my roster who’s a competitor, who wants to be out there, who fights hard and plays hard, I’m [going to] find a way to put him in position to make plays,” Hall said. “I think we could’ve done a much, much better job of putting Josh in position to make plays.”

In November, then-interim head coach Bill Callahan benched Norman, and the 32-year-old cornerback played just 10 defensive snaps over the last six games of the season. Should Washington choose to cut ties with Norman this offseason before June 1, the team would save $12.5 million of cap space.

Hall, who interviewed for the Redskins’ defensive backs’ coaching position last January, said Norman wasn’t given the chance to be the leader of the defense. Hall said some of that was self-inflicted because of Norman’s habits and preparation, but a portion of that was because of schematics. 

“I always told those coaches ‘If you want Josh to be a leader — because Josh wants to be a leader — you’ve got to put him in a position to make plays, the same way Carolina put him in a position to make plays,” Hall said. 

The peak of Norman’s career came in 2015 under the direction of Washington’s newly hired head coach Ron Rivera. In that all-pro season, Norman recorded 56 tackles, 18 passes defended, four interceptions, three forced fumbles and two touchdowns. 

Hall believes Norman still possesses that all-pro ability; it just needs to be tapped with the right defensive scheme. Hall compared the situation to Richard Sherman, who has revitalized his career in San Francisco after battling injuries. 

“It’s not because [Sherman] is the best lockdown man-to-man corner. It’s because they play Sherm in a system that he’s able to succeed and shine, and they put players around him so that he can make plays,” he said. “If we [would’ve] done the same thing to Josh Norman, he could’ve been an all-pro player here, too, just like he was in Carolina.”

Despite Hall’s belief in Norman’s ability, and the presumption that Rivera and new defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio will run a similar system to what Norman played in with the Panthers, the former Redskins defensive back doesn’t think the $15 million price tag is worth it for a franchise that has other holes to fill.

“I, as a fan, would love to have Josh back on this team, in this defense that I feel will be similar to Carolina,” Hall said. “But to me, it doesn’t make sense to bring Josh back for $15 million. It’s just a big pill to swallow when you can do a lot with that money on a team that needs a lot of help.”

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