Grading each portion of the 2019 Washington Redskins offseason
The Redskins didn’t change anything at the top of their coaching staff. Jay Gruden stayed on as the head coach. Greg Manusky is still the defensive coordinator. But, there were a few changes, and there were only a couple of silver linings.
The biggest of these silver linings is that the ‘Skins promoted Kevin O’Connell to offensive coordinator. By elevating O’Connell but also keeping Matt Cavanaugh on the staff, the Redskins have positioned themselves to have and retain three savvy minds on the offensive side of the ball. O’Connell, a former Patriots draft pick, is considered to be an up-and-comer in the coaching ranks, so keeping him onboard was key.
Elsewhere, Washington did land a couple of former defensive coordinators to serve as position coaches. Ray Horton and Rob Ryan will coach the team’s defensive backs and linebacker respectively, so that should help add some experience to the defensive staff. Both have failed as coordinators, but they should help Manusky as solid position coaches.
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However, the other moves aren’t quite as inspiring. The team lost their special teams coordinator, Ben Kotwica, a year after he helped the ‘Skins teams put together one of their best performances in recent years. Nate Kaczor, whose special teams peaked at 20th-best during his tenure with the Tampa Bay Bucs, will take over for him.
Elsewhere, the team lost potential-packed tight ends coach, Wes Phillips, to the Rams and Sean McVay. They may not have been able to do much about Phillips’ departure, as he went to coach with his father, Wade Phillips, but their replacement, Jim Angelichio, is only a decent option at best.
The Redskins’ coaching decisions were certainly up and down, and depending on your opinion of Gruden, this grade can be debated. I think the negatives and positives are pretty evenly matched here, so I won’t penalize the team much for their offseason coaching moves, even though it did take a while to get everything sorted out.