- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Redskins are suddenly without an offensive coordinator after the Los Angeles Rams hired Sean McVay to be their coach. Already in search of a defensive coordinator to replace Joe Barry, who was fired this offseason, Washington must now begin a search for an offensive coordinator. The possibilities are broad, but here are five potential candidates for the role:

Matt Cavanaugh

The Redskins may already have an offensive coordinator on their staff in quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh. Cavanaugh served as an offensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears (two seasons) and the Baltimore Ravens (six seasons), but he hasn’t worked as an NFL offensive coordinator since 2004. However, an offense controlled by Cavanaugh could be beneficial for the Redskins’ running game. With the Ravens, Cavanaugh gave the ball plenty and often to running back Jamal Lewis, ranking in the top five in total rush attempts in three of his seasons in Baltimore. Washington doesn’t have a running back the caliber of Lewis, but a coach with a background working with quarterbacks and a strong running offense wouldn’t hurt.

Bill Callahan

Another internal option, Bill Callahan, holds plenty of NFL experience as an offensive coordinator. Callahan has 13 years of experience working as an NFL offensive coordinator, coach or assistant head coach. As the offensive coordinator for the Oakland Raiders from 1998 to 2001 and coach from 2002 to 2003, Callahan led a top-10 team in offensive yards gained and points scored four times. In 2002, Callahan’s offense ranked first in total yards gained and second in points scored. That team, heavily fueled by quarterback Rich Gannon, running back Charlie Garner and wide receivers Jerry Rice, Tim Brown and Jerry Porter, lost in the Super Bowl to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Bill Musgrave

The Oakland Raiders made a surprising decision to not renew offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave’s contract this offseason. Musgrave led a surprisingly potent Raiders offense to the seventh-most points scored in the NFL and the sixth-most yards this season. With eight years working as an NFL offensive coordinator, Musgrave could possibly be the most experienced, fresh-faced person the Redskins could bring to their staff. Similar to Callahan, Musgrave has found success in the running game, finishing in the top 10 in rushing yards five of his seasons as an offensive coordinator. He had Adrian Peterson for three of those years with the Minnesota Vikings and Fred Taylor in Jacksonville for another season, but he was able to lead a relatively-unproven trio of Latavius Murray, DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richardson to 1,746 yards, good for the sixth-most rushing yards in the NFL, in Oakland last season.

Chip Kelly

This would be downright nutty, but Chip Kelly himself has said he would be willing to step into an NFL offensive coordinator position. Kelly is a bit unorthodox when it comes to coaching in the NFL, and he’s been let go from two different NFL coaching positions in as many years. Thought Kelly did not have success as an NFL coach, he has proven to be an astute offensive mind at various levels. With Oregon, Kelly turned the program into a national title contender. With Philadelphia, Kelly led a powerful running unit, which, if you believe in Washington’s pass attack, may ultimately be very beneficial.

Wes Phillips

The Redskins lost their young coaching prodigy in McVay, but could they have another younger coach on their staff in Wes Phillips fill the offensive coordinator role? The current Redskins’ tight ends coach has spent seven years working in the NFL, including a few years with the Dallas Cowboys working under his father, Wade, the defensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos and a person the Redskins may have an eye on for their vacant defensive coordinator position. Phillips has worked as a tight ends coach for Washington since 2014, but he also has prior experience working as a quarterbacks coach at Baylor University and as an assistant offensive line coach with the Cowboys. He’s a long shot.

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