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Spags

Jan 30, 2008, 11:18 PM EDT

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Three names have been the buzz in the Redskins coaching search over the past couple of days. Earlier, I looked at Steve Mariucci. Now the focus turns to New York defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.

When the Redskins announced that the selection of a new head coach would not take place until after the Super Bowl, Spagnuolo jumped from a guy who was mentioned as a long shot possibility to one who is up there with the leading contenders. In fact, I even added his name to my spell check dictionary (something I do selectively since I’m afraid that eventually every possible string of letters will find its way in there and it will become useless). Why wait until after the Super Bowl unless you want to want to talk to one of the Super Bowl coaches.

Under normal circumstances, this would be a very straight forward process. The team would interview the coach and, if so inclined, offer him the job. The prospective coach would look at the contract terms and the situation with the team and decide whether or not to take the job.

It’s that “situation with the team” part that gets sticky for Dan Snyder and the Skins. Vinny Cerrato, he of the questionable credentials, is in charge of player personnel. If Spags can get around that, there is the fact that the Skins have already hired the offensive and defensive coordinators.

If it comes down to it, will Spagnuolo decide that he can work with Jim Zorn and Greg Blache? Zorn is a West Coast guy and Spagnuolo spent seven years with the Eagles prior to signing on with the Giants. That doesn’t necessarily mean that Spagnuolo likes the WCO or the variety of it that Zorn might run. Perhaps it would be a good idea if they could sit down and talk about it, but Spagnuolo likely will have to make his call yes or no sight unseen. Blache would be less of a sticking point; he’s an old pro and he could adapt to whatever Spags wanted to do.

Steve Spagnuolo has a chance of getting the job, but there are a lot of land mines to navigate between the here and now and him stepping to the podium at Redskins Park to be introduced as the team’s next head coach. It will be difficult but possible.

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