Two weeks after saying he didn’t anticipate any changes to his Washington Redskins coaching staff, Joe Gibbs announced yesterday that the team has fired linebackers coach Dale Lindsey.
Lindsey was with the Redskins since Gibbs’ return in 2004. He was also with the Redskins staff in 1997-98.
“We appreciate the work and effort Dale has given the organization over the past three seasons, but we have decided to move in a different direction with our linebackers,” Gibbs said in a statement.
Lindsey, who could not be reached for comment, is the first coach Gibbs has fired in three seasons back with the team. After last year, quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave took the same position with the Atlanta Falcons, and secondary coach DeWayne Walker was hired as UCLA’s defensive coordinator.
The Redskins’ defense ranked 31st in yards allowed during their 5-11 season. The team’s starting linebackers — Lemar Marshall (104 tackles), Marcus Washington (86) and Warrick Holdman (69) — ranked second, third and fifth, respectively, in tackles.
Marshall and Holdman struggled in pass coverage, though, and rookie Rocky McIntosh — whom the Redskins traded a 2007 second-round pick to acquire in last year’s draft — wasn’t deemed ready enough to play defense until the final month of the season.
“I had a good relationship with him — he taught me a lot of stuff this year,” McIntosh said last night.
McIntosh last spoke with Lindsey a day after the Redskins’ season-ending loss to the New York Giants. He said Lindsey sounded like he expected to return.
“That’s what I thought,” McIntosh said. “The meeting was all positive and all [looking ahead to 2007].”
Before joining the Redskins, Lindsey was San Diego’s defensive coordinator for two seasons. He began his coaching career in 1974. During the 2005 season, Lindsey feuded with LaVar Arrington, and Arrington eventually was granted his release.