Redskins' Instability Has a Number: 30

Rich TandlerSenior Analyst IDecember 17, 2008

In yesterday's post about Jim Zorn, I asked the reader to consider how many changes the Redskins have had at four key areas of the team, the brains of the operation—head coach, offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator and quarterback. I decided to quantify that thought and list the men who have held those positions since the start of the 1998 season.

The list has five head coaches, six offensive coordinators (I listed the de facto OC's, so four of them were head coaches as well), seven defensive coordinators, and 12 starting quarterbacks.

In two games short of 11 seasons, the Redskins have had 30 different men in charge of planning and executing on-field strategy. That's an average of almost three changes per season.

In light of this, I'll say that it's nearly miraculous and a tribute to the players that the team has made three playoff appearances and has avoided a disastrous, 13-loss season in that time frame.

Consider that in a time frame one year shorter the Eagles have had the same men in the same jobs. Since 1999, it's been Andy Reid as head coach and offensive coordinator, Jim Johnson as defensive coordinator, and Donovan McNabb playing quarterback.

Reid and company went 5-11 in '99, and then made the playoffs at 11-5 the next year they've been in the playoffs six of the last eight years and they advanced to four straight NFC title games. A tiny bit of patience has paid big dividends. I wouldn't necessarily want the Redskins to do everything like the Eagles do, but there are some lessons to be learned here.

Head coaches

  1. Norv Turner
  2. Marty Schottenheimer
  3. Steve Spurrier
  4. Joe Gibbs
  5. Jim Zorn
    (Please note that it is an official policy of mine not to count interim coaches as head coaches, thus the omission of Terry Robiskie.)

Offensive coordinators

  1. Turner
  2. Jimmy Raye
  3. Spurrier
  4. Gibbs
  5. Al Saunders
  6. Zorn

Defensive coordinators

  1. Mike Nolan
  2. Ray Rhodes
  3. Kurt Schottenheimer
  4. Marvin Lewis
  5. George Edwards
  6. Gregg Williams
  7. Greg Blache


  1. Gus Frerotte
  2. Trent Green
  3. Brad Johnson
  4. Jeff George
  5. Tony Banks
  6. Shane Matthews
  7. Danny Wuerffel
  8. Patrick Ramsey
  9. Tim Hasselbeck
  10. Mark Brunell
  11. Jason Campbell
  12. Todd Collins