Jan 16, 2014, 5:03 AM EDT
Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, January 16, 112 days from the NFL Draft.
The Redskins have brought in four new coaches so far and have given a major promotion to another one. Here is the major challenge facing each of them.
1. HC Jay Gruden—The first-time NFL head coach needs to convince the players that he can translate his experience as an Arena League head coach to the NFL. Mike Shanahan had his faults but nobody could question his resume. Gruden will get some benefit of the doubt but he needs to display competence from the very beginning.
2. OLB Brian Baker—Outside LB is all about pass rush in today’s game. As of right now, he needs to figure out a way to turn the hot-and-cold Ryan Kerrigan into a more consistent force when it comes to getting to the quarterback. If Brian Orakpo ends up leaving as a free agent, finding his replacement will be another top priority.
3. OC Sean McVay—The former tight ends coach will have to take care of the nuts and bolts of executing Gruden’s offense. It would not do the job justice to call him a middleman but his major role will be getting the players to buy what Gruden is selling.
4. ST Ben Kotwica—He probably has the biggest job in Ashburn, repairing units that were absolute disasters in 2013. Kotwica needs to start by identifying which players on the roster will be his core guys and selling his program to them.
5. RB Earnest Byner—He hasn’t been hired yet but all indications are that he will return to the job he held here from 2004-2007. If the team is going to switch to a more power-oriented blocking scheme as it appears they may, he needs to convince Alfred Morris that he can be just as productive hitting a hole as he was cutting into the seam on the zone stretch play.
—It’s been 18 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 234 days until they play another one.
—Days until: NFL Combine 34; NFL free agency 54; Offseason workouts start 81
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