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Redskins Insider: January 10, 2010 - January 16, 2010

Smith clarifies comment on new leaders, old friend

Former Redskins offensive coordinator Sherman Smith on Saturday clarified a recent comment he made about the organization's new leaders, saying he did not intend to be critical of previous head coach Jim Zorn. In an interview Thursday, Smith, whom new Washington Coach Mike Shanahan did not retain, said he had...

By Jason Reid  |  January 16, 2010; 6:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (516)
Categories:  Jason Reid , Mike Shanahan  
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Spanos hiring official; Olivadotti is retained

The Washington Redskins today officially announced the hiring of Lou Spanos as their linebackers coach. The team has also chosen to retain Kirk Olivadotti as a defensive assistant. Olivadotti was the team's linebackers coach under Jim Zorn and was heavily credited for the quick development of Brian Orakpo. Spanos comes...

By Rick Maese  |  January 16, 2010; 1:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (69)
Categories:  Mike Shanahan  
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Texans offensive assistant interviews with Redskins

Even though it's a holiday weekend, some interviews are continuing at Redskins Park, and there could be additions to Mike Shanahan's staff before the work week begins Tuesday. One new candidate in town, according to sources, is Matt LaFleur, an offensive assistant with the Houston Texans, where he worked under...

By Barry Svrluga and Rick Maese  |  January 16, 2010; 10:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (54)
Categories:  Mike Shanahan  
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Haslett: Redskins could have success running 4-3 or 3-4 defense

The Redskins officially announced the hiring of Jim Haslett as Mike Shanahan's defensive coordinator Friday afternoon, cementing the deal that was struck Tuesday night and giving the franchise a new defensive direction following two years under Greg Blache, who also officially announced his retirement. "I think they've got a good...

By Barry Svrluga  |  January 15, 2010; 5:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (100)
 
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Redskins reach out to Haiti

The Redskins are taking steps to help victims of the devastating earthquake in Haiti, using the private plane of owner Daniel Snyder to help fly medical supplies, personnel and clothing to the impoverished nation. The franchise announced Friday morning that it is partnering with Diageo -- the beverage company with...

By Barry Svrluga  |  January 15, 2010; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (267)
 
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Davis talks about changes at Redskins Park

Redskins tight end Fred Davis talks about how he's changed as he enters what will be his third year as a pro, the arrival of Mike Shanahan and what, exactly, is going on with Pete Carroll, Lane Kiffin and USC. Davis is joined by Ivan Carter, Kelli Johnson and Mark...

By Cindy Boren  |  January 15, 2010; 7:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (135)
 
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Sherman Smith is let go

After two seasons with the Redskins, offensive coordinator Sherman Smith will be looking for work again. New Coach Mike Shanahan informed Smith on Wednesday he would not be retained, ending Smith's brief tenure with the team. A longtime running backs coach with the Tennessee Titans, Smith came to Washington...

By Jason Reid  |  January 14, 2010; 7:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (109)
 
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Shanahan's coaching staff: the story so far

Let's sort out what we know and what we think about Mike Shanahan's coaching staff with the Redskins. What we know: Kyle Shanahan will be the offensive coordinator, and he could be in town as early as tomorrow after his wife gave birth to a baby. He won't be introduced...

By Barry Svlruga  |  January 14, 2010; 3:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (137)
 
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Redskins sign free agent lineman Lichtensteiger

Lost amidst all the coaching headlines this week was news that Mike Shanahan has signed his first free agent since taking over as Redskins' head coach - and it's a player with whom he's plenty familiar. And if you keep track of such things, the first player Shanahan brought to...

By Rick Maese  |  January 14, 2010; 1:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (178)
 
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Bobby Turner officially named running backs coach

The Redskins named Bobby Turner, a Mike Shanahan assistant in Denver for his entire 14-year tenure there, as assistant head coach-running backs on Thursday, the first hire to Shanahan's new staff that has officially been announced by the team.   Turner, 60, served 15 years with the Broncos, staying on...

By Barry Svrluga  |  January 14, 2010; 11:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (182)
 
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Bugel: Shanahan's 'going to build the offensive line'

Whether or not you want to believe that Mike Shanahan expected or hoped Joe Bugel would stick around and coach his offensive line next season, we can probably at least agree that Bugel and Shanahan both respect and value offensive line play more than most in the league. Bugel, who...

By Rick Maese  |  January 14, 2010; 9:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (113)
 
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Starke: Hall of Fame should add group category

In three weeks, the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee will gather in Miami and choose the Class of 2010. There are 15 finalists, but the most overdue nominee isn't even on the ballot. Or so says George Starke, the Redskins' lineman from 1973-84. He thinks he and his...

By Rick Maese  |  January 14, 2010; 7:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (49)
 
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Gray to interview with Seahawks

Jerry Gray is 0 for 2 thus far in Washington Redskins interviews, so he's apparently going to try elsewhere. Two league sources have confirmed that the Seattle Seahawks have been granted permission to interview Gray for their vacant defensive coordinator position. Gray has served as the Redskins' secondary coach since...

By Jason Reid and Rick Maese  |  January 13, 2010; 10:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (69)
 
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Blache announces his retirement

While one Redskins coach retired Wednesday with much pomp and circumstance, another opted to hang up his coaching whistle quietly. Greg Blache, the team's defensive coordinator the past two seasons and an assistant coach here the previous four, told the Chicago Tribune on Wednesday night that he's retiring after 22...

By Rick Maese  |  January 13, 2010; 8:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (59)
 
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Redskins won't raise general admission prices

General admission ticket prices for the 2010 season will remain unchanged, the Redskins announced today. "It's always a challenge to maintain ticket prices from year-to-year, but we wanted to show the fans how much we appreciate their support, especially in difficult economic times," David Donovan, the team's chief operating officer,...

By Cindy Boren  |  January 13, 2010; 3:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (85)
 
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Turner takes job with Redskins

(Updated at 7:32 p.m.) Bobby Turner, one of the architects of Mike Shanahan's running game with the Denver Broncos, has accepted a position on Shanahan's staff in Washington, an NFL source confirmed. Turner was offered a position Monday, but several members of the Redskins' staff said he hadn't accepted the...

By Barry Svrluga and Rick Maese  |  January 13, 2010; 3:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (50)
 
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Samuels hasn't decided about retirement yet

Redskins offensive tackle Chris Samuels said Wednesday he still has not made a final decision about whether to retire because of neck problems that cost him all but five games of the 2009 season. Samuels said he would have another checkup in three or four weeks and make a decision...

By Barry Svrluga  |  January 13, 2010; 3:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
 
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Switch to a 3-4 defense might work for Redskins

Hopefully Mike Shanahan and Jim Haslett will soon reveal their exact plans for the Redskins' defense, but it seems there's some excitement building over the possibility of shaking things up and changing alignments. On the surface, it might seem like the Redskins have personnel in place to switch to a...

By Rick Maese  |  January 13, 2010; 2:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (122)
 
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Bugel's goodbye comes from the heart

Longtime Redskins offensive line coach Joe Bugel announced his retirement Wednesday afternoon in a 20-minute ceremony in which he was introduced by new head coach Mike Shanahan and joined by several of his former players at the Redskins Park. Bugel's message was simultaneously simple and meandering, spanning his 32-year NFL...

By Barry Svrluga  |  January 13, 2010; 12:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (102)
 
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Redskins now must replace irreplaceable Bugel

If you had taken a poll Jan. 4, the day after the Redskins' season ended, about what might be the least surprising development over the following couple of weeks - Mike Shanahan being named the new head coach or Joe Bugel retiring as the offensive line coach - it might...

By Barry Svrluga  |  January 13, 2010; 10:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (137)
 
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Bugel to announce retirement

Joe Bugel will announce his retirement today at Redskins Park, the Redskins have said in a statement released by the team. It was widely expected that Bugel, 69, would retire after the season, given the changes that were looming at Redskins Park after a 4-12 season....

By Cindy Boren  |  January 13, 2010; 10:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (52)
 
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Gruden praises Shanahan's ability to adjust to personnel

With speculation surrounding Jim Zorn's job status for much of the 2009 season, Jon Gruden kept a very low-profile when it came to Washington reporters. With Mike Shanahan now firmly in place as the Redskins' coach, I finally had a chance this week to catch up with Gruden, the former...

By Rick Maese  |  January 13, 2010; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (138)
Categories:  Mike Shanahan  
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Redskins hire Haslett as defensive coordinator

(Updated at 10:28 p.m.) Jim Haslett and the Redskins struck a deal Tuesday night that makes Haslett the team's new defensive coordinator and means the Redskins will have a markedly different defensive philosophy going forward. Haslett was in Ashburn on Monday, and a league source told the Post's Mark Maske...

By Rick Maese and Barry Svrluga  |  January 12, 2010; 9:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (149)
 
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Crennel was never a serious coordinator candidate

Former Cleveland head coach Romeo Crennel, who built his reputation as a defensive coordinator with the Super Bowl-winning New England teams under Bill Belichick, is the presumed leader to become the new defensive coordinator in Kansas City, where former Patriots front office man Scott Pioli is the general manager. There...

By Barry Svrluga  |  January 12, 2010; 8:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Tags: Romeo Crennel, defensive coordinator  
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Mann reportedly to interview with Redskins

(UPDATED, 6:35 p.m.) Just a few other coaching-staff tidbits... While the Redskins have reportedly offered a position to Bobby Turner, who was Mike Shanahan's long-time running backs coach, it is not believed that he has yet accepted their offer. While the St. Petersburg Times has reported that Tampa Bay has...

By Rick Maese  |  January 12, 2010; 4:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (66)
 
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Haslett apparent front-runner for Redskins defensive coordinator

(Updated at 1:53 p.m.) With Mike Zimmer staying in Cincinnati, according to the NFL.com, Jim Haslett appears to be the front-runner to serve as the Redskins' defensive coordinator next season. Haslett, former NFL coach and a respected defensive strategist, was at Redskins Park on Monday, talking with team officials about...

By Rick Maese  |  January 12, 2010; 1:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (258)
 
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Mitchell clarifies comment, says more on Portis

Outgoing running backs coach Stump Mitchell had some interesting things to say about Clinton Portis yesterday. Mitchell was about halfway through an 18-hour drive to his new job at Southern University in Baton Rouge, La., when he called today. He offered another interesting Portis tidbit and also wanted to clarify...

By Rick Maese  |  January 12, 2010; 11:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (83)
 
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A Shanahan will call plays, but which one?

I was skimming through stories in the archives and ran across an interesting Mike Shanahan quote in the Houston Chronicle a few years back. Shanahan's assistant Gary Kubiak had been named new head coach of the Houston Texans. "Gary's going to learn just like I had to learn and many...

By Rick Maese  |  January 12, 2010; 10:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (68)
 
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Why Redskins fans should root for Cowboys

There has been much talk in NFL circles about the potential impact of an "uncapped year" - a season in which there would be no salary cap, exactly what's on tap for 2010 unless the league and the players union unexpectedly come to an agreement by early March. Could one...

By Barry Svrluga  |  January 12, 2010; 9:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (141)
 
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Turner offered position on Shanahan's staff

(UPDATED, 10:09 p.m.) When Mike Shanahan took over as head coach of the Denver Broncos in 1995, he hired a career college assistant named Bobby Turner to coach his running backs. Turner went on to be on the Broncos' staff for Shanahan's entire 14-year tenure. Now, it appears Turner will...

By Barry Svrluga  |  January 11, 2010; 8:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (158)
Categories:  Mike Shanahan  
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Mitchell: 'Clinton could've worked harder'

Not many - if any - of Jim Zorn's assistants are expected to be around next season. We know now for sure that running backs coach Stump Mitchell won't be. Mitchell, who has taken the head-coaching job at Southern University in Baton Rouge, La., had a lot to say today...

By Jason Reid and Rick Maese  |  January 11, 2010; 2:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (312)
Categories:  Jason Reid  
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Mitchell takes Southern University job

Running backs coach Stump Mitchell said today that he plans to leave the Redskins and accept the head coaching position at Southern University in Baton Rouge, La. "I had an opportunity to meet with Coach [Mike] Shanahan [Sunday] and talk to him today. I'm confident that Bruce Allen and Coach...

By Jason Reid  |  January 11, 2010; 1:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (121)
Categories:  Jason Reid  
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Chicago a possible spot for Zorn

Since Mike Holmgren set up shop in Cleveland, the Browns have seemed like the most likely landing spot for former Redskins coach Jim Zorn. But another possibility has emerged. Comcast SportsNet Chicago is reporting that Zorn could wind up on the Bears' staff as offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach or perhaps...

By Rick Maese  |  January 11, 2010; 11:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (99)
 
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Shanahan's running game is simple; blocking isn't

There was an interesting tidbit in Barry Svrluga's Sunday story about Mike Shanahan's devotion to the running game -- actually, there were several, but let's focus on one for right now. Mark Schlereth, a former lineman for Shanahan in Denver who now blocks for Chris Berman at ESPN, said that...

By Rick Maese  |  January 11, 2010; 11:09 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (53)
 
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Back to the Rooney Rule ...

An interesting Associated Press story that moved across the wires last night suggests recent hiring practices are shining a light on the effectiveness -- or ineffectiveness -- of the NFL's Rooney Rule. As you might've guessed, the Redskins were a focal point. "That is not what the Rooney Rule is...

By Rick Maese  |  January 11, 2010; 9:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (80)
 
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Shanahan likely to emphasize running game -- again

A strong running game was nearly as integral to Mike Shanahan's success in Denver as the presence of quarterback John Elway and Shanahan is likely to use the same approach with the Redskins, Barry Svrluga writes. Nine times in Shanahan's 14 seasons, the Broncos ranked in the top five in...

By Cindy Boren  |  January 10, 2010; 7:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (422)
Categories:  Mike Shanahan  
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