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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. 


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.


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 sign linebacker Jon Bostic to try and help make up for the loss of Reuben Foster

Redskins sign linebacker Jon Bostic to try and help make up for the loss of Reuben Foster

Two days after losing Reuben Foster for the year, the Redskins made a move to at least provide reinforcements to a weakened linebacker group.

On Wednesday, Washington announced that they have signed Jon Bostic, a six-year veteran. The 'Skins also officially placed Foster on injured reserve.

Bostic was a 2013 second-round pick of the Bears out of Florida. He's since bounced around to New England, Detroit, Indianapolis, and Pittsburgh, where he started 14 times for the Steelers in 2018 and posted 73 tackles. He's been traded twice in his career and missed all of 2016 with a foot injury. 

So, what does the move accomplish for the Redskins?

Well, Bostic — or any other free agent signing at this point — isn't going to have close to the level of talent and potential that Foster had. However, getting another option at linebacker was necessary for the Burgundy and Gold, and the 28-year-old has played in 30 contests over the past two years, so he's relatively established. 

Yes, he's far from a gamechanger, considering he has just one interception and 5.5 sacks as a pro. But he's regarded as a solid run defender and tackler and should at least push Mason Foster and Shaun Dion Hamilton. His presence also could alleviate some of the pressure that would've been on rookie Cole Holcomb. 

Signing a defender who's been with five franchises in six years isn't exactly inspiring, but Bostic has experience as a starter and could give the Redskins useful snaps on first and second down at a minimum. Now it's on him to take advantage of the opportunity he's been given.


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Landon Collins is thrilled to be with the Redskins and can't wait to get revenge on the Giants

NBC Sports Washington

Landon Collins is thrilled to be with the Redskins and can't wait to get revenge on the Giants

You may not know the exact dates of the Redskins' two matchups with the Giants this season, which will take place Sep. 29 and Dec. 22 in 2019. But Landon Collins sure does.

"I'm gonna circle it for the next six years," the 'Skins new safety told ESPN in a recent interview. 

No, Collins isn't circling those dates from now until 2024 because he wants to be very organized and ensure he doesn't have any scheduling conflicts. He's doing it because he's dying to get revenge on his former team, who let him leave as a free agent in part because of their "culture change," according to him.

"All we wanted to do was win, and we spoke up because we had to get them to listen to us," Collins told ESPN, referring to himself and other now ex-Giants like Odell Beckham and Damon Harrison. "I think we were too vocal, and that platform was bigger than the Giants... If it's not good media, they don't want that kind of media."

In addition to the organization wanting to go in a different direction culture-wise, New York didn't want to pay the amount of money the Redskins ended up paying for Collins because he wasn't an ideal fit in their defense. The 25-year-old pushes back against the idea that he's strictly a "box safety," though, as do current and former players.

Interestingly enough, Collins isn't the only member of the Redskins' secondary who's in D.C. thanks to a decision by Dave Gettleman. Gettleman was also the same guy who decided the Panthers needed to move on from Josh Norman in April 2016.

Collins, for one, doesn't sound like he'll miss Gettleman at all. The defender didn't love how the GM consistently failed to make an effort to connect personally with his players. 

"I don't know him, he don't know me, that's kind of how it just kind of was," he explained.

All that, however, doesn't matter anymore. Collins is going to be the foundation of the Redskins' defense for quite some time, and that's a challenge he's ready to accept.

"I'm on a team that loves me and wanted me here," he said.