A week after they fired Mike Shanahan, the Washington Redskins still do not have a coach.
That, in some regard, was the expectation of general manager Bruce Allen, who said last Monday when the team parted ways with Shanahan after four seasons that he would begin a comprehensive, thorough search for the eighth full-time coach in the 15 years Dan Snyder has owned the team.
That also doesn’t mean the Redskins haven’t made progress. In the past week, Allen has interviewed four candidates, all of whom are current NFL coordinators. He, director of player personnel Morocco Brown and director of pro personnel Scott Campbell hosted Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell at Redskins Park in Ashburn on Sunday, a team spokesman confirmed.
Allen also flew to Seattle on Wednesday to meet with Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, hosted Dallas Cowboys special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia at Redskins Park on Friday and visited Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott in Charlotte on Saturday.
The coming week will bring more interviews. According to a person familiar with the search, the Redskins will host New York Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell at Redskins Park on Monday, and ESPN reported over the weekend that Vanderbilt coach James Franklin, formerly Maryland’s offensive coordinator for three seasons, has been contacted by both the Redskins and the Cleveland Browns to gauge his interest in interviewing.
And, because the San Diego Chargers defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 27-10 on Sunday in the wild card round of the AFC playoffs, members of the Bengals’ coaching staff will be able to interview for other positions this week. That would leave offensive coordinator Jay Gruden and defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer available to meet with the Redskins, who are believed to be highly interested in each individual.
Two teams – the Houston Texans and Tampa Bay Buccaneers – made their coaching openings official on Thursday. The Texans introduced Bill O’Brien, formerly the coach at Penn State, as their third full-time coach in franchise history after the firing of Gary Kubiak last month. The Buccaneers hired Lovie Smith, the Chicago Bears’ coach from 2004 through 2012, to replace Greg Schiano and will introduce him as their next coach in a press conference on Monday.
The Detroit Lions, the Cleveland Browns and the Minnesota Vikings have also not hired a coach. On Saturday, the Tennessee Titans began their search for a replacement for Mike Munchak, who was fired following three seasons as their coach.
Not surprisingly, many of the same names are surfacing on other teams’ list of desired candidates. Caldwell, who turns 59 on Jan. 16, also interviewed with the Lions on Saturday, and he impressed the team’s decision-makers with a detailed review of quarterback Matthew Stafford’s play during this past season.
“This is an unusual situation because of the fact that you don’t typically walk into a place that has a talented quarterback, one of the best receivers in all the game and just a fine nucleus,” Caldwell told a reporter working for the Lions’ web site.
According to NFL Network, Caldwell, also the Ravens’ quarterbacks coach, did the same thing in his Sunday meeting with the Redskins. Before being hired by the Ravens last season, Caldwell spent the previous three years as the Indianapolis Colts’ coach and worked closely with quarterback Peyton Manning.
He went 26-22 during his three seasons in Indianapolis and coached the Colts to the Super Bowl in 2009, where they lost to the New Orleans Saints. He was fired after the 2011 season, one Manning missed because of a neck injury, when the Colts went 2-14.