New Redskins defensive coordinator search update: 3 contenders but other names lurk


After the dismissal of Joe Barry last week, the Redskins search for a new defensive coordinator is moving briskly. Here's an update on everything we know. 

  • Gus Bradley still remains the leader in the clubhouse for the job, at least according to a number of reports. Though his teams struggled in Jacksonville as a head coach, Bradley was a strong defensive coordinator in Seattle and has ties to both Scot McCloughan from their days with the Seahawks and to Bruce Allen and Jay Gruden from their days in Tampa. One hiccup in the Bradley to Ashburn conversations: A report surfaced that Bills interim coach Anthony Lynn wanted to bring Bradley with him as defensive coordinator should Lynn land a full-time, head coaching job. As of now, Lynn has plenty of interviews to be a head coach, but no offers. 
  • The Redskins received permission to interview Panthers secondary coach and assistant head coach Steve Wilks. Carolina could have blocked the Redskins request for an interview, but elected not to. Wilks has also interviewed for the Rams head coaching position. Perhaps Wilks' greatest success has been the development of Josh Norman from late-round draft pick to elite cover corner. With Norman now in Washington, it's possible Wilks has a vocal supporter already on the Burgundy and Gold. 
  • Internally, Greg Manusky looks like the only coaching staff holdover with a chance to become defensive coordinator. He currently serves as the 'Skins outside linebackers coach, one of the few units that performed well on the Redskins beleugered 2016 defense, and his work with third-year pro Trent Murphy opened a lot of eyes in Ashburn. Further, Manusky has experience running defenses, as he was coordinator in Indy, San Diego and San Francisco in various stops earlier in his career. 
  • Cross Gregg Williams' name off the list. To many it seemed unlikely anyway that the former defensive coordinator during the Joe Gibbs 2.0 days in Washington would come back, now it is a done deal after reports link Williams to the Browns open coordinator position. Remember, when Gibbs resigned in 2007, Williams was considered a front runner to take over as Washington head coach. Instead, the organization turned to Jim Zorn. Yep, Jim Zorn. 
  • Another name to take off the list is Bengals defensive coordinator Paul Guenther. Cincinnati denied permission when Washington requested to talk with Guenther, who worked with Gruden for years while both were in Cincy.
  • There has been zero movement towards him, but for the crowd that clamors for the vocal, brash Rex Ryan, don't expect him at Redskins Park anytime soon. CSN's Chick Hernandez reported that Ryan will likely head for the bright lights of television instead of coaching in 2017, a move that makes sense as the former Jets and Bills head coach can be entertaining when holding a microphone. 
  • The situation surrounding Wade Phillips continues to be interesting. With his contract as Denver's defensive coordinator set to expire, and head coach Gary Kubiak resigned, it looks like John Elway will go a new direction at head coach. Reports connect Miami defensive coordinator Vance Joseph as the front-runner for the Broncos top gig, and if that happens, it's unlikely Phillips gets retained. Should Phillips hit the open market, there will be plenty of suitors, and much speculation points to the Raiders. But remember, Phillips' son Wes is the Redskins tight ends coach. Don't count Phillips out quite yet. 


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