- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 22, 2004

The Washington Redskins have hired Greg Blache and Dale Lindsey, NFL sources said yesterday, adding two former defensive coordinators to Joe Gibbs’ nearly completed coaching staff.

Blache, the Chicago Bears’ coordinator the last five seasons, will become the Redskins’ defensive line coach. Lindsey, the San Diego Chargers’ coordinator the last two years, will coach Washington’s linebackers, a position he held under Norv Turner from 1997 to 1998.

After these latest additions, the Redskins are searching only for a receivers coach and a defensive quality control coach. Gibbs was tending to commitments in Charlotte, N.C., yesterday and was unavailable for comment, but he is expected to make his final hires within the next few days.

Washington’s veteran-filled 2004 coaching staff will be far different from ex-coach Steve Spurrier’s staff in 2003, which was among the least experienced in the NFL.

Assistant head coach/offensive line Joe Bugel and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams both have experience as head coaches in the NFL. Offensive assistants Ernie Zampese and Jack Burns both were coordinators in the past.

Blache and Lindsey are each coming off stints as defensive coordinators, though both were let go by their clubs at the end of the season.

Blache, 54, spent the last five seasons as coordinator in Chicago but lost his job when coach Dick Jauron was fired following a 7-9 season. He reportedly was offered a chance to retain his title under new coach Lovie Smith but was disappointed he wasn’t considered for the coaching job himself and decided to leave the organization.

The Bears ranked 14th in the NFL in total defense this season, but Blache already had built a solid reputation before that. His 2001 squad led the league by allowing only 12.7 points a game, while the rushing defense ranked second at 82.1 yards a game. Blache, a former defensive line coach with the Indianapolis Colts and Green Bay Packers, has been a head coach candidate several times, including last year when he was a finalist for the San Francisco 49ers’ job.

In Washington, Blache will be charged with improving a defensive line that was among the least-imposing units in the NFL this season. The Redskins are expected to pursue several linemen in free agency and the draft.

Lindsey, who turned 61 this week, returns to the Redskins’ coaching staff after spending the last five years in Chicago and San Diego. Lindsey, a veteran of 17 seasons as an NFL assistant coach, was fired by Marty Schottenheimer earlier this month after his unit allowed the second-most points in the league this season.

Some observers in San Diego, however, speculated the team’s defensive woes weren’t solely Lindsey’s fault. The Chargers lost five starters on defense from the season before, including possible Hall of Fame linebacker Junior Seau and all four members of the secondary.

Lindsey should have a talented linebacking corps to work with in Washington: Pro Bowl player LaVar Arrington, Jeremiah Trotter and Jessie Armstead.

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