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Kyle Shanahan's success makes him a target for other teams.
The elder Shanahan remains, but what of his son?
Kyle Shanahan has been instrumental in the newfound success of the Redskins, designing innovative offensive schemes for Robert Griffin III for which the NFL seemed to have no answer at times.
Inevitably, that meant Shanahan was linked with many of the head coaching jobs that suddenly became available at the end of the regular season. Nothing has come of it this year, but rumors will no doubt resurface if the team is successful once again.
Shanahan hasn’t always been the popular choice in Washington, but Griffin needs stability in his developmental years, so the OC must be retained. It’s not like there won’t be another head coaching job available, and it may even be in D.C.
Wide receivers coach Ike Hilliard left the franchise to join the Buffalo Bills. Overall, Hilliard did a solid job with his unit, and five receivers finished the season with over 500 yards.
The Redskins front office may look to bring in an experienced WR coach, or perhaps take a chance on an ex-player’s ability to succeed as a coach. B/R writer John Bibb put forward Art Monk as a coaching candidate, which would certainly be a popular choice among fans.
Monk’s knowledge of the position is beyond question, and he would undoubtedly care about the team. It’s a choice that could yield positive results, but is still a risk.
Whoever the coach turns out to be, the cap penalty reduces options with regard to bringing in new players. They will have to get better results out of this group next year. There were inconsistencies that still need to be ironed out, and developing players like Leonard Hankerson and Aldrick Robinson need to start getting better faster.
Special teams coach Danny Smith also left Washington, returning home to Pittsburgh and a job with the Steelers. There will be many who will be glad to see the back of Smith, who received a lot of criticism for the five blocked field goals of 2011, as well as the two blocked punts to start 2012.
However, it’s telling that the players were unanimous in their support for Smith, absorbing the blame for the mistakes and promising to get better. Upon Smith’s exit, Redskins long snapper Nick Sundberg tweeted that Smith was the best ST coach he ever worked with.
Smith’s replacement will need a similar amount of support from the players, as special teams play emerged as a highlight over the course of the season, with Lorenzo Alexander and Kai Forbath making plays to keep the Redskins’ win streak going.
Raheem Morris’ tenure in Washington was always going to be difficult to maintain. Although he maybe became a head coach too soon, there’s no denying that he is a talented defensive coordinator and currently working below his ceiling as the Redskins’ defensive backs coach.
Morris has been linked with the Cleveland Browns recently (via The Washington Post), so it could be difficult to keep him around. Morris would be a big loss for the team, especially given how the defense performed in the second half of the season.
He gets players motivated, maintains discipline among the unit and generates a good working relationship. If the Redskins bring in defensive backs via the draft, it would be a real shame if they didn’t get to work with Morris in their rookie year.