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Sep 14, 2013; College Station, TX, USA; Texas A

Redskins Head Coach, Offensive Coordinator, and Defensive Coordinator Candidates for 2014


In 2012, the Redskins started 3-6. They ended the season with a seven-game win streak that gave Washington its first division title since 1999, essentially saving head coach Mike Shanahan’s job. His son, Kyle, Washington’s offensive coordinator, was contemplating leaving D.C. to become a head coach elsewhere. Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett felt his job was safe a strong final seven games by the defense.

One year later, the Redskins started 3-6 again, but have slipped to 3-8 – there will be no such luck this year. With the entire team struggling, Owner Dan Snyder and General Manager Bruce Allen may strongly consider cleaning house, starting with the head coach and offensive and defensive coordinators.

If Snyder and Allen do decide to clean house, it will be the Shanahans and Jim Haslett first out of town. Here, I’ve listed candidates to become head coach, offensive coordinator, and defensive coordinator of the Redskins after 2013.

Head Coach

David Shaw, Stanford Head Coach, 41

Nov 16, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Stanford Cardinal coach David Shaw reacts during the game against the Southern California Trojans at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Shaw has done more than fill the shoes of Jim Harbaugh at Stanford. He’s 32-6 as a head coach and is widely regarded as one of the brightest offensive minds in college football.  He has prior NFL experience as a quarterbacks and wide receivers coach. His power run scheme that he uses to set up play-action passing may benefit RGIII and the Redskins.

Verdict: Unlikely. Jason La Canfora recently reported that Shaw is unlikely to leave Stanford. He loves the ability to compete in the BCS at the university. It looks like Shaw will be staying in Palo Alto.

Art Briles, Baylor Head Coach, 57

Briles’ name is on this list because of one reason – that is, RGIII. While Briles is 57 and has just signed a 10-year contract to remain at Baylor, the thought of Griffin reuniting with Briles in D.C. is enticing. Briles may be better suited to be the Redskins offensive coordinator, but there’s no way he would accept that position. If he’s in the NFL, he will be a head coach.

Verdict: Unlikely. Briles just signed a deal to keep him at Baylor. He has no previous NFL coaching experience and will most likely not make the jump to professional football.

Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M Head Coach, 49

With La Canfora’s recent report that David Shaw will most likely stay at Stanford, Sumlin’s demand increases. His spread offense system is similar to what Robert Griffin III ran in college, so the Redskins could take a look at Sumlin if Shanahan leaves.

Verdict: It’s a strong possibility. Sumlin’s quarterback will be out of college and Sumlin may look for NFL head coaching opportunities after Texas A&M’s 2013 campaign.

Mike Zimmer, Cincinnati Bengals Defensive Coordinator, 57

Zimmer may be the hottest name to step in and become a head coach. His Bengals defense has been playing well over the past few years. The unit broke Tom Brady’s streak of consecutive games with a touchdown pass. Washington’s defense could use a tune-up in personnel and scheme.

Verdict: Unlikely. Zimmer may become a head coach elsewhere, but Washington will most likely hire a young, offensive-minded coach.

Dec 1, 2011; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell during the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks defeated the Eagles 31-14. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Darrell Bevell, Seattle Seahawks Offensive Coordinator, 43

Bevell was actually interviewed for three head coaching jobs last year. Seattle noticed, and gave him a two-year extension. Seattle’s offense ranks in the top 10, and Bevell has been instrumental in Russell Wilson’s development as a football player. He’s a viable candidate for the Redskins job if it opens up.

Verdict: Very possible. Bevell is coaching an offense centered around the running game and play-action passing, much like Washington’s offense, so he would be a good fit.

Greg Roman, San Francisco 49ers Offensive Coordinator, 41

Roman has been under much criticism since February – he was questioned about the play calling on the goal line during the potential go-ahead drive in the Super Bowl. This year, the ‘Niners have struggled on offense. However, it’s more of a lack of execution than anything. Roman’s gimmick run plays have caught my eyes and some view him as an offensive genius.

Verdict: It’s possible, but not very likely. Roman is just one candidate out of many, and the scrutiny over the past few months does not help his cause.

Aaron Kromer, Chicago Bears Offensive Coordinator, 45

When Sean Payton was suspended, Kromer took over for six games. New Orleans’ record wasn’t good, but their defense was the worst in history. His talent as the Saints’ line coach enticed the Bears into making him their offensive coordinator. Bears personnel have been raving about how Kromer has transformed the offense, especially the offensive line.

Verdict: Likely. Kromer is an underrated coach with a tremendous upside that the Redskins could possibly take a look at.

Jay Gruden, Cincinnati Bengals Offensive Coordinator, 46

Oct 14, 2012; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden during a game against the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Cleveland won 34-24. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Last year, Gruden interviewed with several teams before ultimately deciding to stay in Cincinnati. There probably will not be as many openings this year as there were last year (8) and Gruden could be in high demand. Gruden has been able to get the most out of Andy Dalton, who Cincinnati hopes can be their franchise quarterback.

Verdict: Uncertain. Gruden may or may not leave Cincinnati, and there will be a high demand for his services elsewhere.

Dave Toub, Kansas City Chiefs Special Teams Coordinator, 51

The Redskins’ special teams unit is just awful. Toub’s units are simply the best. He has been the Bears special teams’ coach with Devin Hester all those years. Now, Kansas City has one of the best special teams units in the league.

Verdict: Likely. Washington will take a good, long look at Toub, and there is a very strong possibility of them hiring him.

Pep Hamilton, Indianapolis Colts Offensive Coordinator, 39

The former Stanford offensive coordinator followed Andrew Luck to Indianapolis when Bruce Arians took the head coaching gig in Arizona. He has been a key component in Andrew Luck’s progression at Stanford and in Indianapolis and he has been highly regarded as the Colts’ offensive coordinator.

Verdict: Uncertain. This is only Hamilton’s first year as Indianapolis’s offensive coordinator and it’s not yet known if he is open to leaving or not.

Offensive Coordinator

Chris Petersen, Boise State Head Coach, 49

There have been some reports that Petersen may try to become a head coach in the NFL. Because of the plethora of other candidates, Petersen may become an offensive coordinator. His offensive pedigree is impressive and all he’s done at Boise State is win.

Verdict: It’s possible. The Redskins may promote from within or seek other options from within the NFL.

Gary Kubiak, Houston Texans Head Coach, 52

This is all dependent on Kubiak being fired after this season. His Texans are 2-9 and are in line for the number 1 overall pick in the draft. I don’t believe it’s necessarily Kubiak’s fault that the Texans are that bad – inconsistent quarterback play and poor execution on defense contribute to that. But if Kubiak is fired, he’s worth taking a look at.

Verdict: Unlikely, but possible. First of all, Kubiak has to be fired. He may even take a year off if he is.

Sep 30, 2012; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Mike Mularkey reacts during the first quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Everbank Field. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Mularkey, Unemployed, 52

Mularkey was the mastermind behind the Falcons offense that allowed Matt Ryan to succeed in his first few years. He was fired in Jacksonville after an abysmal 2012 year, but he’s obviously had success in the league as a developer of talent and as a coordinator.

Verdict: Likely. Mularkey’s success with young Matt Ryan could appeal to the Redskins, who would want a coordinator who’d help Robert Griffin III improve as a passer.

Eric Studesville, Denver Broncos Running Backs Coach, 46

Studesville has been a hot name in the NFL to become an offensive coordinator. The Redskins could give him a look, especially because their offense is centered on the running game. Studesville could be beneficial to the Redskins offense and running backs Alfred Morris and Roy Helu, Jr.

Verdict: Unlikely. Studesville will most likely remain as Denver and may be promoted within the organization to offensive coordinator if the incumbent Adam Gase becomes a head coach elsewhere.

Clyde Christensen, Indianapolis Colts Quarterbacks Coach, 57

Christensen called plays for Peyton Manning in 2009 and 2010 and is an experienced NFL coach. He stepped down to quarterbacks coach in 2012, but he’s a bright offensive mind that the Redskins should take a look at.

Verdict: Unlikely. A longtime Colts coach, Christensen most likely will not leave Indianapolis – I’d assume, at 57, he would like to coach the rest of his career with Andrew Luck.

Hue Jackson, Cincinnati Bengals Running Backs Coach, 48

The former Raiders coach may be best known for giving up the farm for Carson Palmer in Oakland, but his offensive talents could be enticing. He was promoted to head coach after being offensive coordinator there, and Washington could give him a fresh start.

Verdict: Uncertain; probably unlikely. Jackson was a relatively successful offensive coordinator in the past, but it’s not clear whether the Redskins would be willing to take a look at him or not.

Bobby Turner, Washington Redskins Running Backs Coach, 64

Oct 13, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Washington Redskins assistant head coach Bobby Turner reacts on the sidelines during the game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT

The Redskins may look to promote from within if Kyle Shanahan is fired. Turner would be the first name on the list from within the team, as he has done an excellent job with Redskins running backs Roy Helu, Jr. and Alfred Morris.

Verdict: It’s a strong possibility. It’ll be an easy hire if they go with Turner, as the team already knows him as a member of the current coaching staff.

Tom Moore, Arizona Cardinals Offensive Consultant, 75

Moore called plays for Peyton Manning in Indianapolis from 1999 to 2008 and is one of the most experienced coaches in the league. Moore’s experience with many different offenses during his tenure in college and in the NFL could have a particular appeal to the Redskins if they want to develop their offense towards more of a pro-style system.

Verdict: There’s a chance. Moore is getting older, but he could take on one more endeavor before he retires.

Mike Solari, San Francisco 49ers Offensive Line Coach, 58

The 49ers have one of the best run-blocking offensive lines in the league and pass-protection has not been a significant issue either. Solari should be credited for much of that success. He has prior experience as an offensive coordinator in the NFL and is worth a look at by the Redskins.

Verdict: Likely. He may be given an interview by the Redskins, as the Redskins have a suspect pass-protecting offensive line and may need some help with personnel adjustments.

May 31, 2012; Metairie, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterbacks coach Joe Lombardi during organized team activities at the team

Joe Lombardi, New Orleans Saints Quarterbacks Coach, 41

Lombardi is relatively young to become an offensive coordinator in the NFL, but the Super Bowl trophy is in fact named after his grandfather. Yes, he’s Vince’s grandson. He has also coached Drew Brees in New Orleans for several years and his offensive pedigree is impressive.

Verdict: It’s a possibility. Lombardi’s name could have an appeal to the Redskins, and as a quarterback guy, he could help right the ship with Robert Griffin III.

Defensive Coordinator

Clancy Pendergast, USC Defensive Coordinator, 45

At USC, Pendergast runs a version of the 3-4 with built in variations of a 52 type defense. USC’s squad has shown great improvement defensively with Pendergast at the helm – his scheme has been a reason for the turnaround.

Verdict: He’s a legitimate candidate. Washington runs a 3-4, but not the version that Pendergast does. A change in scheme may benefit a defense that’s ranked in the bottom five in the NFL.

Lovie Smith, Unemployed, 55

Dec 16, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith against the Green Bay Packers during the second half at Soldier Field. The Packers beat the Bears 21-13. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Having Smith as a defensive coordinator would be a gift at this point, because his name has been topping the lists of potential head coaching candidates. In 2012, even with older personnel, Smith’s Bears’ defense was one of the top units in the league.

Verdict: Unlikely. If Smith is to return to the NFL, he’ll most likely become a head coach. Tampa Bay or Houston could be a possibility for him.

Dennis Allen, Oakland Raiders Head Coach, 41

This is dependent on Allen being fired after this year. He’s a defensive-minded head coach who could have particular appeal as a defensive coordinator if he’s let go by the Raiders.

Verdict: Unlikely. Allen most likely will not be fired by the Raiders – he’s 4-8 so far this season and should be given at least one more year.

Dave McGinnis, St. Louis Rams Assistant Head Coach, 62

McGinnis was a defensive coordinator and a head coach for four years and is a seasoned NFL coach. He is currently a senior assistant with the Rams and the Redskins could possibly recruit him to become their defensive coordinator.

Verdict: It’s a possibility. McGinnis is not a big name. In Arizona, he learned what it was like to take over another coach’s mess. In Washington, he may be given a fresh start as a coordinator, although he is getting closer to retirement.

Ken Norton, Jr, Seattle Seahawks Linebackers Coach, 47

Norton has coached some good, young linebackers over the past few years such as K.J. Wright and Bobby Wagner. The Redskins need help with their inside linebackers in coverage and in run defense – London Fletcher has lost a step and Perry Riley has underperformed in zone coverage for much of the year. Norton could possibly develop young talent and try to mend the linebackers along with the rest of the defense.

Verdict: It’s a strong possibility. Norton could be on the Redskins’ radar after tremendous success in the Pacific Northwest.

Kacy Rodgers, Miami Dolphins Defensive Line Coach, 44

Rodgers is a well-respected defensive line coach. He’s helped several key Dolphins develop; Cameron Wake and 2013 first round pick Dion Jordan are among them. He may seek defensive coordinating opportunities after the 2013 season concludes. Washington should be on the lookout.

Verdict: There’s a strong chance. While Rodgers is just another candidate, he could help as a pass-rushing analyst (which some teams to have) as well as a defensive coordinator. The Redskins have not been able to generate much pass rush at all this season.

John Mitchell, Pittsburgh Steelers Defensive Line Coach, 62

Mitchell does not have NFL coordinating experience, but he was the defensive coordinator at LSU for a year. He’s a seasoned NFL coach who can possibly bring a new mentality to the Redskins defense, perhaps emulating Dick LeBeau in Washington – the Redskins essentially borrowed their 3-4 defense from the Steelers.

Verdict: Unlikely. Mitchell is inching close to retirement and it’s difficult picturing him leaving Pittsburgh.

December 23, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; St. Louis Rams defensive end Robert Quinn (94) talks with defensive line coach Mike Waufle prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Waufle, St. Louis Rams Defensive Line Coach, 59

Waufle has been a defensive line coach in the league since 1998 and deserves a look at for a defensive coordinator job. Waufle’s defensive line with St. Louis has been a wrecking crew this season. Learning from Jeff Fisher helps as well.

Verdict: It’s a strong possibility. Waufle is ready to make the jump from a defensive line coach to a coordinator and the Redskins should give him a look.

Jim Tomsula, San Francisco 49ers Defensive Line Coach, 45

In San Francisco, Tomsula has coached talented players such as Justin Smith and Aldon Smith, making the defensive line one of the strongest units on the team. He was the 49ers’ interim head coach after Mike Singletary was fired in 2010, so the transition to defensive coordinator should not be an issue for him.

Verdict: He’s a likely candidate. Tomsula boasts one of the best defensive lines in the league and his achievements as a coach in San Francisco will draw attention from teams looking to replace their current defensive coordinators.

Joe Barry, San Diego Chargers Linebackers Coach, 43

Barry was a defensive coordinator for two years with the Lions when he was in his 30’s. San Diego’s linebacking corps has performed well over the course of the season – Donald Butler and Manti Te’o have been playing exceptionally. The Redskins may consider Barry if Haslett is fired.

Verdict: Possible. This is Barry’s first year as San Diego’s linebackers’ coach, and it isn’t currently known if he would be open to leaving the Chargers after just one year.

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Tags: Aaron Kromer Alfred Morris Art Briles Bobby Turner Bruce Allen Chris Petersen Clancy Pendergast Clyde Christensen Dan Snyder Darrell Bevell Dave McGinnis Dave Toub David Shaw Defensive Coordinator Dennis Allen Eric Studesville Evan Royster Gary Kubiak Greg Roman Head Coach Hue Jackson Jay Gruden Jim Haslett Jim Tomsula Joe Barry Joe Lombardi John Mitchell Jr Kacy Rodgers Ken Norton Kevin Sumlin Kyle Shanahan Lovie Smith Mike Mularkey Mike Shanahan Mike Solari Mike Waufle Mike Zimmer Offensive Coordinator Pep Hamilton Redskins Rg3 RGIII Robert Griffin Iii Roy Helu Tom Moore Vince Lombardi Washington Redskins