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Redskins offensive coordinator resume: Matt Cavanaugh

Redskins offensive coordinator resume: Matt Cavanaugh

With Sean McVay headed west to Los Angeles, the Redskins are widely expected to look internally for his replacement as the offensive coordinator. Current quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh is a potential candidate for that job; let’s take a look at his resume.  

Before becoming an NFL coordinator:  After a record-setting career as Pitt’s quarterback, Cavanaugh was a second-round pick of the Patriots in 1978. He was a career backup, starting just 19 games in 13 seasons. But he paid attention while he was holding the clipboard and in 1994 the Cardinals made him their quarterbacks coach. After two years there and one in the same position with the 49ers, the Bears hired him as their offensive coordinator.

Note: If you want more complete stats on Cavanaugh’s offenses check out his page on Pro Football Reference. DVOA stats via Football Outsiders.

For players, * designates Pro Bowl selection, + designates first-team All-Pro

1997 Bears (4-12)

Rankings: Yards 4,990 (17th), points 263 (28th), turnovers 41 (27th), 3rd down 36.0% (21st), DVOA -13.6% (25th)
Notable players: QB Erik Kramer, RB Raymont Harris

Harris rushed for over 1,000 yards and he was the most productive player on offense. Kramer had seen his best days in Detroit. Ricky Proehl was the leading receiver with 58 receptions for 753 yards. As you can see, there’s not much to get excited about here.

1998 Bears (4-12)

Rankings: Yards 4,766 (21st), points 276 (25th), turnovers 34 (24th), 3rd down 34.9% (18th), DVOA -4.6% (17th)
Notable players: QB Kramer, RB Edgar Bennett

The Bears spun their wheels in most respects, including the record and the offense. Kramer was injured and started only eight games, forcing Cavanaugh to call on Steve Stenstrom (7 games) and Moses Moreno (1). Their DVOA did improve significantly, likely due to facing tougher defenses.

After the 1998 season, the Bears fired head coach Dave Wannstedt as well as Cavanaugh. He landed on his feet when Brian Billick was hired as the Ravens’ new head coach and he brought in Cavanaugh his offensive coordinator. A note that Billick’s focus is on offense and it’s difficult to sort out the credit or blame for what happened on that side of the ball. The numbers are presented as they are but keep that in mind as you evaluate them.

1999 Ravens (8-8)

Rankings: Yards 4,778 (24th), points 324 (14th), turnovers 31 (13th), 3rd down 28.4% (31st), -13.8% (27th)
Notable players: WR Qadry Ismail, LT Jonathan Ogden*

With our Pro Bowl performers on defense the offense just had to not lose games and they were moderately successful there. They couldn’t do much more with the trio of Tony Banks (10 starts), Stoney Case (4), and Scott Mitchell (2), splitting time at quarterback. They had Priest Holmes at running back and he was effective when he could play (5.7 yards/attempt) but injuries limited him to four starts and 89 carries.

2000 Ravens (12-4)

Rankings: Yards 5,014 (16th), points 333 (14th), turnovers 26 (7th), 3rd down 40% (13th), DVOA -8.1% (22nd)
Notable players: RB Jamal Lewis, TE Shannon Sharpe, LT Ogden*+

The offense went five straight games without scoring a touchdown. Thanks to the legendary Ravens defense, Baltimore managed to go 2-3 in that span. They started to do better when Trent Dilfer replaced Banks at quarterback. First-round draft pick Jamal Lewis gained 1,364 yards in his rookie season and Holmes rebounded, chipping in 588 yards. The Ravens won their last 11 games including a 34-7 win over the Giants in the Super Bowl.

2001 Ravens (10-6)

Rankings: Yards 5,124 (14th), points 303 (18th), turnovers 36 (25th), 3rd down 35.6% (19th), DVOA 7.0% (24TH)
Notable players: TE Sharpe*, LT Ogden*

They decided to dump Dilfer and hand the keys to Elvis Grbac. He struggled and nobody was disappointed when he left the building after one year. On top of that, Lewis was lost for the season when he suffered a torn ACL in training camp. Given those two factors, ending up in the middle of the pack offensively was a nice achievement.

2002 Ravens (7-9)

Rankings: Yards 4,639 (26th), points 316 (23rd), turnovers 32 (22nd), 3rd down 37.7% (24th), DVOA -6.1% (23rd)
Notable players: RB Lewis, TE Todd Heap*, LT Ogden*+

Lewis was back and he had a solid season with 1,327 yards. Again, quarterback was an issue as Jeff Blake and Chris Redman both started games.

2003 Ravens (10-6)

Rankings: Yards 4,929 (21st), points 391 (8th), turnovers 38 (30th), 3rd down 31.9% (27th), DVOA -12.7% (27th)
Notable players: RB Lewis*+, TE Heap*, LT Ogden*+

Lewis had his big season, rushing for 2,066 yards. That helped compensate for the struggles of rookie QB Kyle Boller, who started nine games, and of Anthony Wright, who started seven.

2004 Ravens (9-7)

Rankings: Yards 4,375 (31st), points 317 (20th), turnovers 23 (9th), 3rd down 31.9% (27th), DVOA -2.1% (16th)
Notable players: RB Lewis, LT Ogden*

Boller played the whole season but he still struggled. Lewis’ output fell by half but he still was over 1,000 yards. At the end of the season, just four years removed from the Super Bowl win, Billick was fired and Cavanaugh was let go along with him.

After leaving Baltimore, Cavanaugh spent four years at Pitt as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. In 2009 he returned to the NFL as the quarterbacks coach for the Jets, Bears, and, starting in 2015, the Redskins.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page www.Facebook.com/RealRedskins and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

 

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The Redskins seem highly unlikely to trade into the Top 5, unless crazy happens

The Redskins seem highly unlikely to trade into the Top 5, unless crazy happens

Holding the 15th pick and with a litany of needs to improve their football team, the Redskins seem highly unlikely to trade up into the top five of the NFL Draft.

Unless Kyler Murray somehow comes available. 

The Redskins, like a host of other NFL teams, believe Murray has transcendent talent. Jay Gruden said so publicly at the NFL Scouting Combine, and privately, Ashburn sources have been clear that Washington considers Murray the top offensive player available in this draft.

Be real though, Murray has no chance of lasting around to Washington's selection with the 15th pick. It's still most likely he's the first player drafted. If Arizona doesn't take Murray with the No. 1 overall pick, things could get interesting. 

A report from New York showed that the Redskins have been talking with the Jets about the third pick, something that NBC Sports Washington suggested could happen as far back as February during the NFL Combine

The problem is the only player worth paying the cost to move up that high is Murray, and again, he seems unlikely to be available. 

One NFC scout explained that of the 2019 quarterback class, only Murray is the type a team would "reach" for. Beyond the Oklahoma Heisman winner, Dwayne Haskins, Drew Lock and Daniel Jones are good, legitimate first-round prospects, but not the type to "sell the farm to get."

Sure, the Redskins might want a new QB, but it's entirely possible one of those three players last to the 15th pick.

One of the reasons that makes the 2019 draft so intriguing is that after Murray, there is very little consensus ranking the passers. It seems Haskins or Lock will go off the board as the second QB, but which one is up for debate. And Jones has some serious fans around the NFL. For example, Hall of Fame analyst Gil Brandt compared Jones to Peyton Manning. Seriously. 

Any combination of Lock, Haskins and/or Jones could go before 15, but it seems unlikely all three do. One former NFL executive suggested that the Redskins will take either Lock or Haskins if that player is available at 15 though.

If both are gone, and no top defensive player slips to 15 as a result of a quarterback or offensive line run early in the draft, then it's entirely possible the Redskins look to trade back. Senior VP of Player Personnel Doug Williams said as much earlier this week. 

"I’m going to go on the record and say that’s a possibility that we won’t trade up, but there’s a great possibility we’ll trade back if that opportunity came," Williams said on Monday.

The Redskins met with Maryland safety Darnell Savage on Tuesday, and his draft stock likely seems to land somewhere in the bottom third of the first round or early in the second round. The Texans might be looking to move up and get a tackle, and Washington should answer that call if it comes. Houston holds the 23rd pick, and that could make sense as a spot to select Savage. 

Beyond Savage, a player like Boston College offensive lineman Chris Lindstrom could make sense if the 'Skins move back, not to mention Jones. The Duke QB seems unlikely to get past the first round, especially because of the advantage of having a quarterback on a rookie contract. A first-round deal comes with a low cost relative to NFL quarterbacks, and additionally, a fifth-year option. if a QB plays at a high level, that option year holds tremendous value for its team-friendly terms

That Jones seems a possibility at both 15 and at 23 illustrates that there is really no consensus anywhere. 

To that point, one talent evaluator said this draft holds the promise for chaos.

"It's going to be crazy."

For months, Murray seemed to be a lock to go first overall. Now, that doesn't seem like such a sure thing. The debate between Haskins and Lock has never really subsided. There is no clear-cut best wide receiver, or offensive tackle, two spots that often command picks in the Top 10. 

Anything can happen this week, and the Redskins are right in the middle of it all. They want a quarterback - Williams said so - but can't afford to mortgage the future of the franchise. 

Two nuggets to remember this week:

  1. Of the last 12 quarterbacks taken in the first round, 11 were drafted by a team that traded up to get them. The only QB that a team got without trading up? Baker Mayfield, last year's No. 1 overall selection.
  2. The Redskins missed the playoffs the least three seasons. The last time that happened was 2012, when the team mortgaged the future to trade up and select Robert Griffin III.

The only real truth about the 2019 NFL Draft is that nobody knows what's going to happen.

By draft day last season, it was pretty clear the Redskins would take either Daron Payne or Vita Vea. The team needed major help on the defensive line, and those were the two best players believed to be available when Washington picked. At the top of the draft, it was clear Mayfield would go first and the Jets wanted Sam Darnold. That allowed for some stability in projecting what else would happen. 

This year, there are a million scenarios, but no clarity.

Doug Williams summed the situation up very well: "We got the 15th pick at this time, and there are 14 teams in front of us, and you don’t know what’s going to happen. Things happen that you don’t expect."

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2019 NFL Draft Big Board: Quinnen Williams, defensive prospects dominate the final top 100

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2019 NFL Draft Big Board: Quinnen Williams, defensive prospects dominate the final top 100

It’s the final countdown.

Here is the final NBC Sports Washington NFL Big Board for 2019. This ranking of the top 100 prospects in the NFL Draft comes from a combination of homework and NFL sources.

Before diving in, some notes…

*The Redskins met with Maryland safety Darnell Savage Jr. Tuesday, sources told yours truly and JP Finlay. Savage is one of the true risers in this class with a 20-40 draft projection. Teams eyeing the free safety include the Colts, Patriots, Chargers and Redskins, per sources.

Of those teams interested in Savage, only the Redskins’ current picks are outside of that 20-40 range. The key word there might be current.

Senior VP of Player Personnel Doug Williams told reporters Monday that there’s a “great possibility” of a trade down from 15 depending on which players remain on the board. The interest in Savage isn’t with the current pick, but if they move down.

*For all the quarterback talk, where the offensive line run begins could drive the first round.

While the Jaguars might select Florida tackle Jawaan Taylor seventh overall, the span to watch is 9-12. Offensive line ranks among needs for these four teams (Bills, Broncos, Bengals, Packers) and several prospects, including Alabama’ Jonah Williams and Oklahoma’s Cody Ford are worthy of consideration in this range.

However, OL isn’t the top priority for any of the four. My latest mock draft had all going with another position. The final debate will come down, in part, to whether the teams think they can address their line needs on Day 2.

The butterfly effect comes with teams selecting 15-23. The Redskins and Panthers (16) would surely focus elsewhere. The Vikings would still have a viable option in NC State center Garrett Bradbury, but the Seahawks (21), Ravens (22) and Texans (23) would probably move in other directions. This scenario also improves the chances that Boston College’s Chris Lindstrom and Texas A&M’s Erik McCoy go in the first.

Ford is considered the top guard prospect, making him an obvious option for the Redskins.

* Mississippi State edge rusher Montez Sweat remains a top 10 prospect on this list, but that’s without a true understanding of his enlarged heart condition. According to a source familiar with the situation, some teams are comfortable with his situation while others removed the athletic freak from their draft board.

Not sure if we can infer there’s a potential slide coming with Sweat declining his invitation to attend the draft. My expectation is he remains in my final mock draft with the Panthers at 16 and Seahawks at 21 as the floor.

*If you missed it, I recently shared league thoughts on the passers. Not to get all indecisive, but at this point, I could see four selected by 17 or two sliding deep into round one. From a draft range perspective, Drew Lock’s feels the largest, stretching from 10 to 32.

*Using some Vegas prop bet lines for the first round, I’d go under on one running back and 2 1/2 wide receivers. Oklahoma’s Marquise Brown is the only receiver I feel good slotting into round one, but D.K. Metcalf, A.J. Brown and N’Keal Harry won’t wait for long on Day 2.

*Make sure to check out the updated two-round NFL mock draft and our look at different 7-round, Redskins-only mock drafts. Paths onetwo and three are just a click away.

NBC Sports Washington’s final 2019 NFL Draft Big Board

1. Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama                                          

2. Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State                                      

3. Ed Oliver, DT, Houston                                           

4. Devin White, LB, LSU                               

5. Josh Allen, OLB, Kentucky         

6. Montez Sweat, DE, Miss. St.                                                                                                 

7. T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa                                       

8. Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma                                 

9. Devin Bush, ILB, Michigan                                      

10. Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson        

11. Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida                                  

12. Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama                                            

13. Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson                          

14. Cody Ford, G/T, Oklahoma                                  

15. Jeffery Simmons, DT, Miss. State                       

16. Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State                                       

17. Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson                                                  

18. Byron Murphy, CB, Washington                                        

19. Brian Burns, DE, Florida State                                            

20. Greedy Williams, CB, LSU                                    

21. DeAndre Baker, CB, Georgia                                              

22. Andre Dillard, OT, Wash. State                                          

23. Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma                                      

24. Johnathan Abram, S, Miss. St.                                            

25. Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame                              

26. Dalton Risner, OL, Kansas State                                        

27. Garrett Bradbury, C, NC State                                            

28. N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State  

29. Chris Lindstrom, G, BC                                          

30. Darnell Savage, S, Maryland                                                            

31. A.J. Brown, WR, Mississippi                                 

32. Noah Fant, TE, Iowa                              

33. D.K. Metcalf, WR, Mississippi                                            

34. Erik McCoy, C, Texas A&M                                  

35. Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama                                  

36. Daniel Jones, QB, Duke                                      

37. Drew Lock, QB, Missouri                                          

38. Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple                                      

39. Taylor Rapp, S, Washington    

40. Irv Smith, TE, Alabama                                         

41. Kaleb McGary, OT, Washington                                        

42. Nassir Adderley, FS, Delaware                                           

43. Chase Winovich, LB, Michigan                                           

44. Parris Campbell, WR, Ohio State                                       

45. Jaylon Ferguson, DE, La. Tech                                           

46. L.J Collier, DE, TCU                                 

47. Juan Thornhill, S, Virginia                                     

48. Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama                                  

49. Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State                                        

50. Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S, Florida                                           

51. Miles Sanders, RB, Penn State                                           

52. Oshane Ximines, DE, ODU                                   

53. Dre'Mont Jones, DE/DT, Ohio State                                 

54. Justin Layne, CB, Michigan State                                       

55. Connor McGovern, G, Penn State                                     

56. Riley Ridley, WR, Georgia                                    

57. Julian Love, CB, Notre Dame                              

58. Elgton Jenkins, C, Mississippi State                                   

59. Gerald Willis, DT, Miami                                       

60. Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama                                        

61. Ryan Finley, QB, NC State      

62. Trayvon Mullen, CB, Clemson                                            

63. David Montgomery, RB, Iowa State                                 

64. Darrell Henderson, RB, Memphis                                      

65. J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Stanford                                

66. Zach Allen, DE, Boston College                                          

67. Lonnie Johnson Jr., CB, Kentucky                                      

68. D'Andre Walker, LB, Georgia                                                      

69. Jachai Polite, LB, Florida                                      

70. Chuma Edoga, T, USC                                           

71. David Long, CB, Michigan                                    

72. Justice Hill, RB, Oklahoma State                                        

73. Amani Oruwariye, CB, Penn State                                     

74. Joe Jackson, DE, Miami                                        

75. Amani Hooker, S, Iowa                                         

76. Yodny Cajuste, T, West Virginia                                         

77. Kahale Warring, TE, San Diego State                                

78. Chuma Edoga, T, USC                                           

79. David Long, CB, Michigan                                    

80. Greg Little, T, Mississippi                                     

81. Trayveon Williams, RB, Texas A&M                                  

82. Charles Omenihu, DL, Texas                                

83. Damian Harris, RB, Alabama       

84. Michael Jordan, G, Ohio State                                           

85. Dawson Knox, TE, Mississippi                                            

86. David Edwards, T, Wisconsin                              

87. Andy Isabella, WR, Umass                                   

88. Dru Samia, G, Oklahoma                                      

89. Christian Miller, LB, Alabama                              

90. Devin Singletary, RB, Florida Atlantic                               

91. Sean Bunting, CB, Central Michigan                                                            

92. Nate Davis, G, Charlotte                                      

93. Mecole Hardman, WR, Georgia                                        

94. Bobby Okereke, LB, Stanford                              

95. Michael Deiter, G, Wisconsin                              

96. Ben Powers, G, Oklahoma                                   

97. Emanuel Hall, WR, Missouri                                   

98. Marvell Tell, S, USC                                

99. Dionte Johnson, WR, Toledo         

100. Terrill Hanks, ILB, New Mexico State      

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