- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Washington Redskins’ search for a linebackers coach didn’t take them past the defensive staff hallway at Redskin Park. A day after firing 20-year NFL coaching veteran Dale Lindsey, the Redskins replaced him with Kirk Olivadotti, who worked with defensive line coach Greg Blache and special teams coach Danny Smith last season.

Olivadotti, 33, has the longest continuous tenure on the coaching staff. He came to the Redskins as a general offensive assistant for coach Norv Turner in 2000. He worked with the defensive backs the next three seasons under coaches Marty Schottenheimer and Steve Spurrier.

When Joe Gibbs took over in 2004, Olivadotti became a general defensive assistant while also helping with special teams.

“Kirk is an extremely bright, young coach that has earned this opportunity,” Gibbs said in a statement released by the Redskins. “He has proven himself with every step he has taken with the Redskins, and he will provide continuity to our linebacker position.”

Olivadotti, the son of longtime NFL defensive coach Tom Olivadotti, has never coached linebackers. A receiver at Purdue from 1993 to 1996, he coached receivers and tight ends at Maine Maritime Academy in 1997 and then spent two years at Indiana State.

Neither assistant head coach-defense Gregg Williams nor Olivadotti was made available for interviews.

The linebacking corps ranked among the strengths of the third-ranked defense in 2004, with Marcus Washington, Antonio Pierce and Lemar Marshall starting. The unit remained solid on the ninth-ranked defense in 2005, with LaVar Arrington and Warrick Holdman splitting time alongside Washington and Marshall. But linebacker play faltered in 2006 as the defense crashed to 31st.

The gruff Lindsey, who had feuded for two years with Arrington, kept the ineffective Holdman in the starting lineup ahead of second-round draft pick Rocky McIntosh. But the rookie started the final two games when injuries ended Washington’s season. With Holdman a free agent, McIntosh, Washington and Marshall will be the regulars in 2007 unless the Redskins can find a more prototypical middle linebacker than Marshall, an ex-college safety.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide