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

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. 

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

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If Luke Kuechly wants to coach, would Ron Rivera hire him for the Redskins?

If Luke Kuechly wants to coach, would Ron Rivera hire him for the Redskins?

One of the best linebackers of the last decade, Luke Kuechly retired from football this week in a move that stunned many. For years Kuechly has dealt with injuries, including multiple concussions, and decided his body could not withstand anymore life in the NFL. 

Or at least being on the field. 

A new NFL Network report suggested that Kuechly could be looking to stay in the game in a coaching or consulting role, and that it could happen this season. 

"I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Luke Kuechly in the NFL. As a player we have," Mike Garafolo said on Good Morning Football.

The natural question for Redskins fans becomes if Kuechly could land in Washington. New Redskins coach Ron Rivera was with the Panthers when the team drafted Kuechly ninth overall in 2012, and the duo worked closely together. It's been widely reported that Kuechly and Rivera have a strong relationship too. 

When Kuechly announced his retirement, Rivera took to Twitter to compare the linebacker to Hall of Famers Mike Singletary and Brian Urlacher. Rivera also said he "will remember Luke’s sense of humor, his leadership & 4 being a great teammate."

The Redskins recently announced their assistant coaches and linebackers coach Steve Russ worked with Kuechly for the past two seasons in Carolina. There is no assistant linebackers coach on the staff, but that's a role that could be created. There are few rules about assistant coaches in the NFL; for example, last season the Redskins employed an inside linebackers coach and an outside linebackers coach because they played a 3-4 system. This year the team will play the 4-3. 

It's unclear what role Kuechly would want, and while the connection to Rivera is obvious, so is the connection to Carolina. 

"Certainly the Panthers would love to have him be a part of their organization in some capacity," Garafolo said. 

What happens next for Kuechly remains unknown. He just retired from football a few days ago. He might need time to make his next series of decisions. 

Based on Rivera's actions so far as the new Redskins boss, however, it would not be a surprise at all if the head coach tries to get Kuechly to Washington. Rivera has hired just about everyone else that was with the Panthers in the last decade; why not add one more?

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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 underperformed 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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