This is the beginning of a two-part series exploring what I would do if I was in charge of the Washington Redskins. This first series will go over the front office moves, followed shortly by the second part which would go over personnel changes.
Here's the scenario:
Lets imagine that I have become the man in charge of the Washington Redskins. Snyder has been boycotted out, and Cerrato is becoming an optometrist. All joking aside, it is time to make moves to improve the Washington Redskins, and to restore a once proud franchise. Here's the moves I would make in the front office to do so:
First off, before I go any further. I just want to make it clear that I do not exactly buy into all the big names being thrown around such as Mike Holmgren, John Gruden, Mike Shanahan, etc. So some of the names I will throw out may raise question marks, but trust me...I've done my research.
—Hire Brian Gaine as General Manager.
Heard of Brian Gaine? Probably not, so here's a short brief: He currently is the Assistant Director of Player Personnel for the Miami Dolphins. He has 11 years in the NFL most notably as a part of the Dallas Cowboys personnel tree, working closely with Bill Parcells and Jeff Ireland. Before Dallas he spent six seasons in the New York Jets scouting department from 1999-2004. Gaine is a complete candidate with great early experience and too much upside to look past.
—Hire Eric DeCosta as Vice President of Football Operations
Again, Eric DeCosta? Brian Gaine has more of an eye for pro personnel, here is the guy that will compliment him with an eye for the draft board. DeCosta could just as easily be a top candidate for GM, but I like him here just as much. DeCosta had been the director of college scouting for the Baltimore Ravens before recently being named the director of player personnel. In his time with the Ravens he was responsible for drafting the likes of Terrell Suggs, Mark Clayton, Jason Brown, Haloti Ngata, Dawan Landry, Ben Grubbs, Jared Gaither, and the 2008 Diet Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year Joe Flacco. DeCosta likes keeping his draft picks and using them on quality players.
—Hire Todd Bowles as Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator/Secondary Coach.
But why? Our offense seems to need the most help, right? So why not have the head coach be some kind of offensive genius? I will explain when I name the offensive coordinator, but let me talk about why Todd Bowles. Working with the Brian Gaine connection, Bowles is currently the assistant head coach and defensive backs coach for the Miami Dolphins, was once a defensive back with the Super Bowl XXII Champion Washington Redskins. He coached the Dolphins secondary to 14 INTs, their most since 2003. Bowles was also the secondary coach for the Dallas Cowboys who once boasted 2007 Pro Bowlers Terrance Newman, Ken Hamlin, and Roy Williams. Bowles was a strong outspoken candidate for Detroit's head coaching vacancy this past offseason. He would also bring a 3-4 defense with him (something I would love to see in D.C.)
—Hire John Ramsdell as Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach.
Here is why I didn't go with an offensive minded head coach. Because this way, Ramsdell would be able to focus solely on the offense and just the offense. Ramsdell has more than a proven track record, developing quarterbacks like Kurt Warner, Marc Bulger, and Philip Rivers. Most notably with the Rams, they never ranked lower than fifth in passing offense in eleven seasons with the team. Being with the San Diego Chargers since 2006, Ramsdell also knows what a valuable running game can do, featuring both a "every down back" and a "scat back", with LaDainian Tomlinson and Darren Sproles.
—Hire Keith Butler as Assistant Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach.
Quite simply put Butler has been picking the brain of Dick LeBeau for the past six seasons as linebackers coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers. His knowledge in the 3-4 system would be a huge help in assisting Bowles with just that.
—Hire Pete Metzelaars as Assistant Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line Coach.
Metzelaars has been with the Indianapolis Colts for the last six seasons as an offensive quality coach, and the last two as assistant offensive line coach. This guy has witnessed first hand what a strong offensive line can do for the passing attack.
—Retain Danny Smith as Special Teams Coordinator.
Let's keep some continuity here with Mr. Smith, he has actually had above average success with sub-par players it seems. Rock Cartwright provides no explosiveness in the return game, and Randle El, well he just can't go north on punt returns. If Smith could get the right guys, then this unit could be the best in the league.
So that is it. I pulled a lot of people from different places, but these guys in my mind could develop to be the best. They all have a strong background in their new roles, learning from the organizations that have done their role the best over the last few seasons.
I know this would bring a lot of new faces,but we need a complete change from top to bottom without overpaying for a Mike Shanahan, Mike Holmgren, Bill Cowher, etc.
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