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Need to Know: Is Pettine now the favorite for Redskins defensive coordinator?

Need to Know: Is Pettine now the favorite for Redskins defensive coordinator?

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, January 13, 55 days before NFL free agency starts.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL franchise tag deadline 47
NFL draft 104
First Sunday of 2017 season 240

Coaching search update

There is so much going on right now that you can’t go out to dinner, or even sleep, without missing news. Here is a roundup from the last 24 hours or so.

Wade Phillips is not coming to interview with the Redskins on Friday. Instead, the longtime NFL coach, the favorite of many fans to get Washington’s vacant defensive coordinator job, will join Sean McVay in Los Angeles and run the Rams defense.

Why is Phillips going west instead of coming east to Ashburn, where his son Wes works as the Redskins tight ends coach? Chuck Sapienza of Breaking Burgundy reports that it was simply a matter of talent. The Rams are in good shape up front, led by All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald and, when healthy, former All-Pro Robert Quinn. Despite getting no help for a miserable offense (ranked 32nd), the Rams were ninth in terms of yards allowed. The Redskins do have a few pieces in place on defense and they could add more in free agency and in the draft but Phillips saw that there is more to work with in Los Angeles.

RELATED: New #RedskinsTalk Podcast - Answers, or just more questions?

—Another development in LA could affect another candidate for the Redskins’ defensive coordinator job. There are reports that former Bills offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn is very close to finalizing a deal that would make him the head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers (I know I will type San Diego Chargers at some point). Shortly after the season ended, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that wherever Lynn went, Gus Bradley would become the defensive coordinator. Bradley interviewed with the Redskins on Wednesday.

—So does the development with Lynn eliminate Bradley from consideration with the Redskins? That’s possible, but we don’t know for sure. Bradley, the former defensive coordinator of the Seahawks and head coach of the Jaguars, must do what’s best for Bradley. He is not contractually tied to Lynn in any way. He may not want to join a team that is in the process of relocating and is set to play in a 30,000-seat stadium in the next two years. Bradley also might prefer to work with an organization that has Scot McCloughan picking the players. Chargers GM Tom Telesco has been in in charge for four years and the Chargers have gone from playoff contenders to double-digit losses the last two seasons.

—All that being said, there still is a good chance that Bradley will stick with Lynn and join him in Los Angeles. And Steve Wilks, the Panthers’ secondary coach who had obtained permission to interview with Washington, is apparently going to stay in Carolina and replace Sean McDermott, the new Bills head coach, as the defensive coordinator there. So where does that leave the Redskins in their hunt for someone to run the defense?

MORE REDSKINS: If McVay leaves, don't expect Redskins to hire outsider

—Perhaps with Mike Pettine, the first candidate they interviewed for the job. The news of the meeting didn’t excite many but his resume is rock solid. He has overseen five top-10 defenses in seven seasons as either a head coach or as a coordinator. The Redskins could do much worse than to bring in Pettine.

—The search for a new offensive coordinator to replace McVay may not have as much drama attached to it. It seems that the job will go to offensive line coach Bill Callahan if he wants it or to quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh. It may not be that simple—things rarely are simple at Redskins Park—but for right now it looks like the first interviews will involve a candidate that already has an office in Ashburn.

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2019 NFL Mock Draft Roundup: Who are the Redskins taking at 15?

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USA Today Sports Images

2019 NFL Mock Draft Roundup: Who are the Redskins taking at 15?

As the calendar turns toward spring, one thing consumes the NFL: mock drafts. Leading up to the NFL Draft on April 25, many will try to predict which players each of the 32 teams will select. Though no one will know for sure until the names are called, it's still interesting to see what potential directions teams might go in.

Let's take a look at what some people believe the Redskins will do with their first round pick.

ESPN's Mel Kiper's NFL Mock Draft 2.0: Drew Lock (QB, Missouri) Kiper currently has Washington taking a quarterback in the first-round, but maybe not the one people were expecting. While Kyler Murray and Dwayne Haskins are viewed as first-round locks by many, the Missouri product's placement in the draft is not as certain. In this scenario, Kiper has Murray and Haskins off the board before Washington gets on the clock, making Lock the best available passer remaining. In his senior seaosn, Lock finished with 3,498 passing yards and 28 touchdowns.

CBS Sports' R.J. White: Devin White (ILB, LSU) Not a quarterback here. White has the Redskins using a pick on the junior linebacker. With questions surrounding what will happen with Zach Brown as well as pass-rushing linebacker Preston Smith, White could fill a need for the Redskins. 

CBS Sports' Ryan Wilson and Chris Trapasso: Daniel Jones (QB, Duke) The Redskins take a passer in both of these mocks as well, just a different one. Jones, the junior from Duke, slides in at No. 15 behind both Murray and Haskins. However, Wilson also has Lock going before the Redskins pick, while Trapasso has him falling to No. 28. 

Bleacher Report's Kristopher Knox: Daniel Jones (QB, Duke) More Jones here for the Redskins. The passer, who threw for 22 touchdowns in 2018, is the fourth quarterback off the board in this mock draft as Haskins, Murray and Lock all go in the top 10. 

USA Today's Luke Easterling: Daniel Jones (QB, Duke) Starting to see a theme here? Not only does this mock draft have the Redskins selecting Jones, but it has them moving up to No. 12 to make the selection. Easterling describes Jones as, "a raw but promising passer." 

NFL Analyst Charley Casserly: Daniel Jones (QB, Duke) Describing him as a passer with "excellent field vision, anticipation and accuracy," Casserly likes Jones in Washington.

NBC Sports Washington's Ben Standig: Montez Sweat (DE, Mississippi St.) As mentioned earlier, Preston Smith's time with the burgundy and gold could be coming to an end. Sweat, who recorded 11.5 sacks last season, impressed at the Senior Bowl and could make an impact from Day 1. While many see the Redskins taking a quarterback, Standig sees inside linebacker as a priority

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Antonio Brown reveals even the Steelers agree it's time he moves on

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USA TODAY SPORTS

Antonio Brown reveals even the Steelers agree it's time he moves on

Antonio Brown won’t play for the Pittsburgh Steelers next season.

You may have thought this scenario already existed since the Pro Bowl wide receiver often publically airs his desire for a trade and frustrations with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Tuesday’s news pushed assumption to reality.

Brown met with Steelers owner Art Rooney II Tuesday. The NFL’s top receiver posted a picture of the two via his Twitter account with a summary of their conversation.

“Had a great meeting with Mr. Rooney today we discussed a lot of things and we cleared the air on several issues!” Brown explained. “We both agreed that it is time to move on but I’ll always have appreciation and gratitude towards the Rooney family and @steelers organization! #CallGod#Boomin

Multiple media reports soon followed, including one from Pro Football Talk, stating the Steelers “have agreed to trade” Brown. However, permission for Brown’s camp to speak with other teams was not initially granted.

The cost won’t be cheap despite Pittsburgh essentially backed into a corner. Considering Brown’s tremendous talent and Hall of Fame production, he’s the rare non-quarterback capable of positively altering a team’s projections. 

Green Bay, armed with two first-round picks, and San Francisco, a team Brown mentions as a future destination on social media, are among the teams likely excited by Tuesday’s reveal.

As for the Redskins, we know the need is real. Washington’s offense lacks playmakers especially at wide receiver. The team also has major concerns under center, so acquiring a top receiver before solving that passer issue feels a bit like putting the cart before the horse. There are also salary cap fears for a team without much wiggle room and a lengthy list of holes.

If, however, Washington desires a return to its off-season champion days, adding Brown is the splashy move. Now we know for sure that’s an option. 

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