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With Wade Phillips gone, will new names emerge in Redskins D-coordinator search?

With Wade Phillips gone, will new names emerge in Redskins D-coordinator search?

When the Redskins fired Joe Barry, it seemed the team had a logical list of possible replacements.

As the coaching carousel has turned, many candidates have taken other jobs. 

Notably, reports show that Wade Phillips will join Sean McVay with the Rams, and it seems quite possible that Gus Bradley will take over as defensive coordinator for the Chargers.

Neither defensive coach was a sure thing for Washington, but Bradley had already interviewed with the team and Phillips met with the team in 2015 ectensively, and his son is already on the coaching staff. There was also some interest in Steve Wilks, but he's been named defensive coordinator in Carolina. 

Bradley appeared to be the Redskins' No. 1 priority at defensive coordinator, as he had ties to Bruce Allen, Jay Gruden and Scot McCloughan. If he takes the Chargers job, as many expect, that will leave the Redskins with Mike Pettine, who the team already interviewed, and internal candidate Greg Manusky left on their notable list of possible replacements for Barry. 

Unless there are other names that could emerge. 

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One name gaining buzz around the NFL is Texans linebackers coach Mike Vrabel. In fact, Vrabel was supposed to interview for the Rams head coaching job, but his Houston team won their first playoff game last weekend and he would not be able to interview until the playoffs conclude. In the meantime, the Rams decided McVay was their guy, and cancelled the interview with Vrabel.

Considered by many a future star, Vrabel even has the endorsement of his former coach Bill Belichick. 

"Mike does a tremendous job. As a player he was very astute, had a great understanding of his position and technique and how to play his spot and corresponding positions from an overall standpoint," Belichick said via The Houston Chronicle. "He had a very good grasp of the overall defensive and offensive concepts and how they would attack different fronts."

Vrabel won three Super Bowls with the Patriots, and was named All-Pro in 2007. His work as a player is clearly defined, but his potential as a coach seems to be just beginning. Last year, Vrabel declined an offer to go run the San Francisco defense, instead getting a raise from the Texans.

Houston finished this season with the No. 1 defense in the NFL. 

There are no high-level connections between Vrabel and the Redskins. The former Ohio State linebacker also played for the Steelers and the Chiefs, but never in Washington. There has also been little to suggest Washington has identified Vrabel as a potential candidate.

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It is possible the Redskins are waiting for the opportunity to speak with candidates after the Divisional Round of the playoffs this weekend, and that could include Vrabel.

If Houston loses in New England this week - and the Texans are massive underdogs in that game - then 'Skins brass could reach out. It's also unknown if Vrabel would be interested in the Washington defensive coordinator position. 

Even if it's not Vrabel, some fans are overreacting to the news of Phillips officially and Bradley quite possibly signing on to coach elsewhere. Pettine is highly qualified to run a defense, as is Manusky, and other candidates could also emerge. 

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Redskins Talk live from Miami for Super Bowl week: How to watch, live stream, listen

Redskins Talk live from Miami for Super Bowl week: How to watch, live stream, listen

Before the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers play for the right to hoist the Lombardi Trophy, the Redskins Talk crew will break down the Redskins and happenings around the NFL.

JP Finlay and Mitch Tischler will welcome special guests everyday from Tuesday to Friday, live from Radio Row in Miami.

The Redskins are in the midst of a busy time, ushering in a new era under the direction of newly minted head coach Ron Rivera. With the NFL Combine, free agency and the draft right around the corner, Redskins Talk has your fix with analysis, discussion and high-profile guests. 

Here's everything you need to know.

Redskins Talk: End of Season Special

When: Every day from Tuesday, January 28, through Friday, January 31, from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

Where: Radio Row in Miami

Live Stream: Click here to watch the live stream on NBCSportsWashington.com or stream in the MyTeams App (click here to download)

TV Channel: NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

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Redskins' wide receiver Terry McLaurin planned NFL future in 2005 letter

Redskins' wide receiver Terry McLaurin planned NFL future in 2005 letter

Redskins wide receiver Terry McLaurin just finished his rookie season in the NFL and ranked among the best first-year pass catchers across the league in 2019. Among rookies, the Ohio State product ranked second in receptions with 59, second in receiving yards with 919 and tied for third in touchdowns with seven — all in 14 games.

That kind of production from a third-round pick may have surprised some. But for McLaurin, this was always the plan.

On Friday, McLaurin took to his Instagram story to post a letter he wrote in 2005 — when he was 10 years old — where he proclaimed his aspirations to be an NFL wide receiver.

“I really want to be a wide [receiver] and a starter,” McLaurin wrote in the letter titled ‘My Future.’ “I will play hard every game.”

McLaurin officially achieved his goal of becoming a professional wide receiver when the Redskins made him their third-round pick last April. He didn’t waste any time accomplishing the second part of his dream, cracking the starting lineup in the first game of the season against the Eagles.

In his letter, McLaurin also discussed the possibility of playing running back in the NFL. In his senior year of high school, the 2013 Indiana Mr. Football was an all-around weapon. He posted 14 total touchdowns, recorded 58 catches for 953 yards receiving and rushed for an additional 744 yards.

Ultimately, McLaurin settled into the receiver position in college when he joined the Buckeyes program. His best season came in his senior year, when he was paired with Dwayne Haskins, and caught 35 passes for 701 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Low productivity in college — just 75 career receptions — may have caused McLaurin’s fall to the third round. But now, he’s making up for it and was one of the steals of the draft.

If McLaurin’s standout numbers continue, he should have no problem accomplishing a couple other goals he laid out in the letter.

“Make lots of money and live in a big house,” a young McLaurin wrote.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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