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Need to Know: Redskins’ coaching staff turnover nearly complete

Jan 24, 2015, 6:43 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, January 24, 96 days before the Washington Redskins go on the clock for the first round of the NFL draft.

Question of the day

We’re changing up the format of Need to Know for the offseason. Every day I’ll give an in-depth answer to a question submitted by a fan on my Twitter feed, via the Real Redskins Facebook page, or in the comments section here. On Twitter address the questions to me at @Rich_TandlerCSN with the #NTK hashtag. There will be a comment thread set up on the Facebook page and if you’re asking your question here, put “for NTK” at the start of the comment.

Today’s question is from the Real Redskins Facebook page:


This question was submitted about a week ago and some things have changed since then. But I wanted to answer to illustrate how few coaches remain from December 30, 2013, the day that Mike Shanahan was relieved of his duties as head coach.

Shanahan, of course, has been replaced by Jay Gruden. Kyle Shanahan is gone, replaced by Sean McVay. He is the only holdover from the Shanahan days on offense after getting the promotion from tight ends coach. The organization, along with many other folks around the league, view McVay as a rising star in the coaching profession and they want to hold on to him. Wes Phillips replaced him as the tight ends coach.

Chris Foerster survived a year as the offensive line coach but Bill Callahan moved in there earlier this month. Bobby Turner left as running backs coach when Shanahan left, as did wide receivers coach Mike McDaniel. They have been replaced by Randy Jordan and Ike Hilliard, respectively.

On defense, Jim Haslett parted ways with the team on New Year’s Eve and was replaced this week by Joe Barry. Secondary coach Raheem Morris would be the only holdover on defense if he stays but it remains to be seen if he will be around in 2015. Jacob Burney, a long time Shanahan crony going back to his days in Denver, will not return as defensive line coach. Linebackers coach Bob Slowik was let go with Shanahan.

The bottom line is that if Morris does wind up leaving, the turnover from the Shanahan years will be 100% complete. There certainly is room to be skeptical about some of the new coaches who have been brought in. Change is not always a positive but there is no question that at least as far as the coaching staff goes the Shanahan era is in the rear view mirror.

Update: I neglected to include the change at special teams coach with Ben Kotwica taking over for Keith Burns.


—It’s been 27 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 232 days until they play another one.

Days until: NFL Combine 26; NFL free agency starts 45; 2015 NFL Draft 96

If you have any questions about what’s going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I’m always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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In case you missed it

  1. mr.moneylover19 - Jan 24, 2015 at 7:39 AM

    You forgot ray wright the strength and conditioning coach was let go as well…was told he didnt get the players in good shape before the season started and was more forcus on bein friends with players

    • gasngo14 - Jan 24, 2015 at 8:26 AM

      Good point, so Rich have they hired any replacements for strength and conditioning?

  2. Bryan - Jan 24, 2015 at 8:40 AM

    What about inside lb coach hadn’t heard him being let go? I know outside guy was.

  3. polofourme - Jan 24, 2015 at 8:52 AM

    What about our so called ST coach…that unit was terrible last year…as bad as the Burns days. There is absolutely no reason this guy still has a job in the NFL. Why he is still around?

    • manchild157 - Jan 24, 2015 at 9:22 AM

      I think the ST coach gets a pass because the feeling was he didn’t have enough players to make an impact. My feeling was there weren’t enough upgrades in that area and the upgrades we did make were hurt alot. Special Teams have to improve.

      • polofourme - Jan 25, 2015 at 1:06 PM

        Ah wasn’t that the same excuse supporters of Haslessbrains was and the this guys outfit was just as bad or worse. The ONLY thing that worked in STs was our kicking. And even that had problems, especially the short KOs from Forbath. IMO this guy was just as bad or worse than Burns. Did you see the STs make one great play, one great return, hold an opposing team inside the twenty on kick offs…and they gave up a ton of big plays the last one being the onside kick by DAL…they were simply caught flat footed. The STs lost more games than it helped win…so we ditch the DC who has no talent on his team and keep a STs coach who has no talent on his squad cant make any plays or stop any team and he gets to stay. The whole idea of changing Grudens staff was to IMPROVE the team, so we keep a guy as bad as Haslessbrains….ridiculous It was a mistake to hire this guy from the Jets in the first place so we reward his poor job and keep him? And you wonder why this team stinks. Just look at the roster, the coaching staff and the front office…the only GM we can find is a guy who is an alcoholic and that moron Allen as team president. Really laughable.

    • Penz - Jan 24, 2015 at 11:09 AM

      Stop exaggerating, nothing will ever be as bad as the Burns unit from two seasons ago, ever ever.

  4. bowlregard - Jan 24, 2015 at 8:55 AM

    Olivadotti. Maybe he coaches all the LBs? And we’re waiting for a new DL coach.

  5. gurnblanstonreturns - Jan 24, 2015 at 11:10 AM

    I really like Scot McCloughan’s approach to the coaching staff. Hiring a coach and then letting him hire and manage his staff is the right way to go as a GM. Also, McCloughan recognizes that, no matter who the coach is, the Skins need three strong offseasons to build a roster capable of being consistently competitive. He inherited a head coach with four years and many millions of dollars left on a guaranteed contract. Letting him coach and hire his own assistants gives McCloughan the time to begin the complete rebuild of the roster this offseason, reshape the scouting staff to his liking after the draft and observe Gruden and his staff. Gruden remains a promising, young coach, who was widely seen as a head coaching candidate throughout the league when the Skins hired him, and he may well prove to be a fine head coach. And, McCloughan has given every indication that Gruden will be given the opportunity to prove his value. When – and if – McCloughan decides to fire Gruden and hire his own coach, he will not be seen as a GM who micromanages his head coach. Skins fans need to forget about the won/loss record over the next two years and remember that McCloughan is giving them the solid, adult football decisions they say they want. If Snyder leaves him alone (and fan reactions play a role because Snyder is very sensitive to anything that might ding his pocketbook), the Skins will become a professional football team. If not, get used to “winning off the field”.

    My question about Gruden’s staff is: Who is the QB coach? Whether Gruden hires a QB coach or tries to do the job himself might prove to be the pivotal decision upon which Gruden’s ultimate success or failure rests.

    • cowboyhater - Jan 24, 2015 at 12:12 PM

      Great Post!! I completely agree with everything you posted here…the “common sense” approach is what is needed with the fans….not “reactionary”.

    • Joe Greene - Jan 24, 2015 at 4:41 PM

      Gruden was not seen as a HC candidate by anyone at all. Cincy fans couldn’t wait to get him out of town. He failed as a HC in the UFL. His only success is as an Arena League coach. He showed last year that he’s a pass happy coach with no flexibility and he abandons the run, the only strength this team really has, the moment the other team gets a lead of any kind.

      • murphsman - Jan 24, 2015 at 5:57 PM

        No flexibility? I’m not sure about that, he did change the playbook to suit RGIII in the Eagles win. Minimum flexibility? Yes. None? Not sure about that. Besides, how many head coaches do good their first year? Not many

      • bangkokben - Jan 24, 2015 at 6:08 PM

        Once again Joe doesn’t let facts get in the way of his smear campaign.
        Gruden turned down three different NFL teams request for interviews following the 2011 season (Jacksonville, St. Louis, and Indianapolis) and was interviewed by three other NFL teams (Arizona, Philadelphia, and San Diego) following the 2012 season before being hired by our team following the 2013 season. His one UFL season as head coach he went 5-3 losing in the title game. Along with his two Areana Bowl victories comes across as an utter failure to Joe Greene.

    • polofourme - Jan 25, 2015 at 1:09 PM

      SM is NOT involved in any of the coaching staff hires…that’s strictly what Gruden is supposed to do..his team, his staff. SMs role is just in managing Grudens roster, draft and FA Thats it.

  6. captblood3000 - Jan 24, 2015 at 11:57 AM

    I hope the turnover in the coaching staff leads to fewer media leaks. Through the Joe Barry hiring it seemed that the Redskins weren’t leaking. I assume initial reports from the hiring came from Barry himself?

  7. dcfaninecuador - Jan 24, 2015 at 12:36 PM

    So…Raheem likely headed to Atlanta as a DC/asst HC hybrid. Wow, aren’t you whiners glad you’re not Falcon fans. I mean, Dan Quinn (?) as HC? Raheem Morris (the guy who can’t coach himself out of a paper bag) as DC? I guess those idiots in charge of the Falcons have NO CLUE what the hell they’re doing.

    • bangkokben - Jan 24, 2015 at 6:14 PM

      They do seem to being this backassward as the Zornskins. Coordinators and assistants first, then a first time HC. Quinn will be to two super bowls and there was that senior bowl thing that teams want staffs for but still looks as if they doing it the wrong way. I’m sure the Atlanta message boards are ripping all things Washington. Kyle Shanahan, R. Morris?! How’s their recent resumes look? At least Tampa has good weather. Washington has paranoia and shady back deals.

      • ajbus1 - Jan 24, 2015 at 8:50 PM

        Knowing our luck, those guys will all have success down in Atl.

    • bullets2586 - Jan 26, 2015 at 8:26 PM

      LOL. Yup, Falcons did us a favor by taking Morris. They are going to regret that one.

  8. bangkokben - Jan 24, 2015 at 8:21 PM

    Is 6-10 an acceptable improvement?

    You could argue that it’s a two game improvement with a 1st year GM and new DC and a lot depends on how close they are in those 10 losses but 6-10 seems to me to be an expected outcome based on modest improvements considering the schedule: 6 division games, NFC South, AFC East, Chicago, and St. Louis.
    That’s only 5 games against team with double digit win totals: Dallas and Philly twice and Brady’s Pats; four wins against middle of the road teams: Buffalo 9-7, Miami 8-8, Carolina 7-8-1, and New Orleans 7-9; and then seven games against teams with double digit losses: NYG twice 6-10, Atlanta 6-10, St. Louis 6-10 (little returns on The Trade so far), Chicago 5-11, NYJ 4-12, and Tampa 2-14.

    SEVEN! Team with schedules like that usually make the playoffs. I’m not saying we will or should but that a three to four game improvement is in the realm of possibility. Of course, much will happen before opening day for every team but at least we should expect 6-10.

    • polofourme - Jan 25, 2015 at 1:13 PM

      They will be lucky to be 4-12 again…this team is not going anywhere in a year. The roster has to be completely broken down and rebuilt and we have to find a starting QB…it will be at least three years to expect any real progress and that’s IF every FA and draft pick is dead on and that is not going to happen. So get used to the same old same old for at least a few more years.

      • bullets2586 - Jan 26, 2015 at 8:28 PM

        We will never be good as long as RGIII is on the roster. He sucks and is a constant distraction.

  9. tomwatson9854 - Jan 25, 2015 at 1:41 PM

    How can you go from the best offense in the history of the Redskins in 2012 and winning the NFC east to a 4-12 record and a 4th place schedule with the addition of 40 million in cap space this season plus Desean Jackson?

    • Rich Tandler - Jan 25, 2015 at 2:28 PM

      Well, it wasn’t the best offense in the history of the Redskins for one thing. Not even close. And I’m not sure where you’re getting the added $40 million in cap space. Not having it taken away any more is not the same as adding it.

      • murphsman - Jan 25, 2015 at 3:02 PM

        Yeah not even close to the best. Luckiest, maybe. Lol. I mean our O-line is nowhere near the Hogs(except maybe Trent) and our defense hasn’t scared anyone in years, so that was far from the best Redskins team ever

  10. murphsman - Jan 25, 2015 at 2:56 PM

    I know this doesn’t really have anything to do with the Redskins, but I’m hoping you can answer anyways. All indications are Morris is going to Atlanta to join Dan Quinn. I saw on another site someone said the Falcons couldn’t have interviewed him yet because he’s still under contract with Seattle. What the rules for interviewing someone from another team to be a HC while their team is still playing?

  11. murphsman - Jan 26, 2015 at 1:00 PM

    It appears to be complete.

  12. bullets2586 - Jan 26, 2015 at 8:20 PM

    Thank God that Ben Kotwica has taken over for Keith Burns. Burns had special teams a train wreck. They got better this season when they brought Kotwica on board, they should get even better now that he is in charge. Archives

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