Len Pasquarelli of ESPN reported today that the Skins hired veteran coach Larry Brooks to be their defensive line coach. That’s sounds reasonable enough but check out this quote from the article:
“The pending addition of Brooks, which will be finalized shortly, essentially completes the revamped Washington staff, except for one glaring exception.”
The exception, of course, is head coach. But what is interesting (and welcome as far as I’m concerned) is that almost all of the best assistants under coach Gibbs’ tenure have apparently agreed to stay. A quick look at Redskins.com shows that Joe Bugel is still listed among the staff (with the new hires already there so it is up-to-date) as well as Earnest Byner (who is at the end of his contract so this isn’t a done deal), Bill Lazor, and Danny Smith all of whom are crucial, I believe, to last year’s success.
One thing to note is that under position for Don Breaux, it just has “–.” There are two obvious reasons for this. The first is that Al Saunders carried the title “Asst. Head Coach Offense” while Breaux was still technically the OC. Jim Zorn was given the standard OC title. So, you figure Breaux will need a new title and they’ll work it out if they keep him. The second is that Breaux is older than the forward pass and it seems likely that they are just working out the retirement fund.
Another interesting thing is that Bob Saunders, Al Saunder’s son, is still listed on the coaching page even though ESPN reported that he would be leaving. In other words, a lot of this is just reading the tea leaves.
So where does this leave us? Assuming Pasquarelli is right and that what we have now constitutes the bulk of our staff including some stalwarts like Joe Bugel, I’m feeling better and better about this situation if we pull in the right head coach.
People who wanted Greg Williams said they wanted continuity. Despite firing the three top guys, there will be a surprising amount of continuity on the team now. There isn’t a veteran player who is going to walk into meetings without knowing the faces of most of the coaches. And now we avoid hiring Williams which I believe would have been a mistake.
For those who wanted new and innovative, I believe Zorn provides that on offense and our defense is still in good hands. And if we end up going with Pats OC Josh McDaniels (which is probably a year or two too early) we will have innovations galore.
For those who wanted Grimm (like me), umm…I don’t know what to say. I guess he didn’t want us, because there is no other explanation for not interviewing him.
All in all, if we don’t end up coming out of this with Snyder grabbing a clip board and a head set this is turning out ok. And the more I think about it, if the plan was already to keep your offensive line coach, your special teams coaches, and most of your defensives coaches, I guess it doesn’t really matter if you hire a new OC or DC before you hire a coach.
NFL hiring rules make it very difficult to go out and hire lower level assistants when staffs are already put together. And because there were so few openings compared to last year, most of the NFL staffs were still intact. So, maybe Snyder knew what he was doing after all. And if not, at least it looks like it is turning out ok. I’m shocked and thrilled if most of these assistants stay around. And I’m liking Meeks as a front runner.
Go ahead Skins fans, you can breathe again. It looks like everything is going to be ok. Hail Skins!