Are Redskins’ Coordinators a Strength or Weakness?


May 26, 2015; Ashbury, VA, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) talk with Redskins offensive coordinator Sean McVay (R) during the Redskins OTA at Redskins Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports’s Bucky Brooks recently put out a list of the Top 20 Coordinators across the NFL and it’s not a surprise that neither of the Washington Redskins coordinators were on the list.  So that begs the question are Sean McVay and Joe Barry and asset or liability to the team?

It’s somewhat disturbing to see two candidates for the Redskins defensive coordinator position from this offseason, Vic Fangio and Wade Phillips both on the list.  Both defensive coordinators with a proven track record and yet Jay Gruden decided to go with Joe Barry instead.

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We’ve talked about it before, Joe Barry’s time as defensive coordinator with the Detroit Lions was a disaster.  However, his supporters say he didn’t have the talent with the Lions to have had a good defense there.

But aren’t the good coordinators supposed to be able to do more with less?  Either way, Gruden says he went with Barry because he likes his energy and wanted a high energy coach leading his defense after Jim Haslett.

I have no doubt that Joe Barry has a lot of energy but I also have no doubt that Gruden also chose him because they worked together previously with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  So there’s an element of cronyism with the hire too.

As for offensive coordinator Sean McVay, pretty much everyone has good things to say about him.  There’s no doubt that he can coach because the Redskins tight ends were one of the most productive units on the team when he coached them.

But McVay had no experience as a coordinator when Gruden promoted him last season.  To top it off, Gruden called most of the plays on offense last season too, so McVay still doesn’t have much experience doing that either.

I don’t want to be too critical of McVay because it appears as though at some point he could emerge as a good coordinator but the Redskins need that to start happening now.  People rave about his offensive knowledge, so it’s time for us to start seeing it come to fruition on the field.

Joe Barry probably learned a lot from his failure with Lions and the lessons learned should help him in his second stint as a coordinator.  I agree with Gruden that a high energy DC can help a defense and Barry’s plan to run a one gap attacking system is very intriguing.

Could either McVay or Barry end up on this Top 20 Coordinators list next offseason?  I hope so.  But right now there are a lot of unknowns and nothing tangible in terms of their experience and track records.

So right now, coordinator is a weakness for the Washington Redskins because they are unproven.  But both are young and out to prove that they deserve their positions.  Lack of talent is no longer an excuse for Barry and McVay has good talent to work with as well.

I’m looking forward to see each one come into his own and become a force for the Redskins coaching staff by getting results on the field.  I’m thinking they’ll both have a positive impact on the direction of the team this season.

Next: Top 32 Redskins of 2015 - 31. Spencer Long