The reports that the Redskins wanted Todd Bowles were very correct. In fact, they may have understated the degree of interest from owner Dan Snyder.
Earlier in the offseason, there was talk that the Washington Redskins would undergo a staff overhaul after losing six of their last seven games in 2018, to stumble to a final record of 7-9.
However, the overhaul never came. Or at least, it hasn’t been reported yet. The Redskins brass has kept a lid on the happenings in Ashburn, and most news that comes out of the nation’s capital is rumor or speculation. Only two coaching transactions have been made official, and one, the hiring of Ben Kowitca by the Falcons, was made official by another team, before the Redskins even mentioned allowing their special teams coordinator to interview elsewhere.
Strange things are happening with the Redskins in the offseason of 2019. Loyalties continue to be tested, and although much of last year’s staff remains in tact, it’s apparent that Dan Snyder wants things to change. A CBS Sports article by Jason La Canfora sheds light on Snyder’s meeting with former Jets coach Todd Bowles, and reveals a heightened interest from Snyder to lure Bowles into the nest.
Per the article, it was Snyder himself who longed to bring Bowles onto Gruden’s staff, not Gruden, who is supposed to have the primary role in staff decisions. And a telling quote from a source referenced in La Canfora’s article brings to light the lengths Snyder was willing to go to hire Bowles. Here is the quote:
Dan [Snyder] put the full-court press on (Bowles). He didn’t want to let him leave. He wanted to know what conditions it would take to get him to stay. If Todd had said, ‘I’ll only do it if I am the head coach,’ I think he may have gone for it.
There’s a lot to take away from this. First off, Snyder reportedly put all his effort into bringing Bowles to D.C. Bowles, a former defensive back who won two Super Bowl rings with the Redskins; one in 1987, and one in 1992. Bowles is also friends with Doug Williams, Washington’s current Director of Player Personnel. The fact that Snyder tried so hard, and offered so much, and Bowles still rejected the job, in favor of Tampa Bay, says a great deal about how Snyder’s rampant dysfunction resonates with the rest of the NFL.
Second, this quote details a certain disdain for Jay Gruden from Snyder. Snyder was reportedly willing to give Todd Bowles the head coaching job, after essentially sticking with Jay Gruden for the first month away from football. After interviewing defensive coordinator candidates while Greg Manusky was still in his job, this is not a good look for Snyder. He desperately wanted Bowles, to the point where he may have given him the top job. But Bowles wanted nothing to do with Snyder, and chose Tampa over the place he won two Super Bowls. A stable work environment goes a long way, and the Redskins have the polar opposite.
Now, the head coach knows his owner wants him gone. The defensive coordinator knows his owner wants him gone. Several position coaches have already left, knowing the situation could collapse with another year, and is mangled beyond repair. Things may get worse before they get better in Ashburn.