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Mora?

Jan 17, 2008, 8:50 AM EDT

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I am hearing that Adam Schefter of the NFL Network has said during a radio appearance that he is hearing that Gregg Williams will not be the next head coach of the Washington Redskins. Instead, Schefter’s sources indicate that the job could be offered to Jim Mora Jr., perhaps as early as today.

Schefter is usually pretty solid, although I don’t know how well connected he is to the Redskins, and that, obviously, is key here. The Skins are being very secretive in their approach to the coaching search and if they are indeed in the verge of hiring Mora, that knowledge is held by very few people. It isn’t a matter of an agent having knowledge or other candidates having been informed prior to a public announcement or anything like that.

Mora did bring instant success to the Falcons, reaching the NFC title game in 2004, his first year in Atlanta, winning a playoff game at Lambeau Field along the way. He is known for having tough training camps; here is an entry from my blog in 11/28/06 just before the Redskins lost to the Falcons at FedEx Field.

The Redskins had one of the easiest training camps of any NFL team this summer. Joe Gibbs scheduled very few two a days, minimal sessions in full pads and they had a day off less than a week after camp started.

On the other end of the scale was the camp conducted by Atlanta’s Jim Mora Jr. Most days there were two practices with at least one of them in full pads. Union rules prohibited him from scheduling three a days and having the players wear full pads in meetings and at lunch, but if he could have he probably would have. It took so long for the players to get a day off that they felt like they were being paroled when they finally got one.

Early in the season it sure did look like Mora had it right and that Gibbs needed to go to school on the younger coach. At the end of October the Falcons were 5-2 and looking like they were on their way to the playoffs.

But then the leaves started to fall and so did the Falcons. They are 0 for November, losing four straight this month.. Has the brutal regimen in August contributed to their collapse in the fall?

Of course, we can only guess. But one eye-popping stat suggests that they may well be running out of gas. In the second half of the four games of their current skid they have been outscored by a staggering aggregate of 67-20.

When the first of January rolls around it’s likely that the Redskins and Falcons will wind up in the same spot, around .500 and on the outside of the playoffs looking in. The Redskins can blame part of their woes on their light camp workload not having them ready to go when the season started. They will be fresh in December but they will be playing golf in January. Atlanta may well have flamed out and peaked too early. Perhaps both organizations need to consider some degree of moderation in how tough or how easy they are on their players during the summer so that they might still be playing well into the winter.

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