Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, January 30, 22 days before the NFL Combine.
Status quo on coaches
In response to some inquiries on Twitter, I am reporting that there is nothing to report on the assistant coaches front.
Danny Smith was granted permission to talk to the Steelers earlier this week. We don’t know if he has talked to the Steelers yet or what their timetable for making a hire is.
Why would the Redskins let Smith go? There are a couple of reasons. Smith is from Pittsburgh and his father still lives there. When a longtime employee (Smith has been in Washington for nine years, through three head coaching regimes) wants to look into an opportunity to work in his hometown, the right thing to do is to let him do it.
And it’s easier to let him do it when it’s a team in the other conference that you just played. Since Washington and Pittsburgh played in 2012, they won’t be meeting again until 2016.
One possibility for a replacement for Smith is Ken Flajole, who was fired by the Saints earlier this week. The Saints’ special teams were 20th in the NFL according to rankings compiled by the Dallas Morning News. The Redskins were 31st. There is no obvious connection between Flajole and Mike or Kyle Shanahan or Jim Haslett so that would seem to diminish his chances. But since it is late in the coach hiring cycle the Redskins have a limited number of candidates to consider.
Special teams coach is a potential opening; the Redskins know they have to replace wide receivers coach Ike Hilliard, who left for Buffalo two weeks ago. The name that keep coming up there is Jeremy Bates. He coached wide receivers and quarterbacks under Mike Shanahan in Denver from 2006-2008. Most recently Bates was the quarterbacks coach for the Bears but he was let go earlier this month when Mark Trestman was hired as head coach.
The coaching staff is returning from vacation next week so look for the hire or hires to come sometime in the next seven days or so.
Alexander talks about his role
In case you missed it
- Grading the Redskins: Inside linebacker
- Patience in the pocket pays off for RG3
- Saints’ draft pick penalty will stand, helping Redskins
Days until: NFL Combine 22; Start of 2013 NFL league year 41; OTA’s start 105