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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 job by Tuesday night. The Broncos originally denied the Redskins permission to speak to Turner, but apparently relented when the Redskins came back with an offer of a different title: associate head coach.

Turner, 60, did not immediately return messages left at his home Wednesday. His decision to accept the Redskins' offer puts into question the future of Sherman Smith, Washington's offensive coordinator the past two seasons under Jim Zorn. Smith, a former running backs coach in Tennessee, had been recommended to Shanahan internally, but if Turner coaches running backs with the Redskins, it's unclear what role Smith would play.

Spanos to coach linebackers

The Redskins have apparently locked up another defensive assistant as well. The Pittsbugh Post-Gazette is reporting that long-time Steelers assistant Lou Spanos will coach linebackers in Washington.

It could be a key position, if Shanahan opts to switch to a 3-4 defensive alignment. Spanos has been with the Steelers for 15 years and earned two Super Bowl rings there. He coached under Jim Haslett for three seasons when Haslett was defensive coordinator there.

While no official announcements have been made, the defensive staff is taking shape quickly. Former Broncos defensive coordinator Bob Slowik is expected to have a position on staff, likely coaching the secondary. Jerry Gray, who interviewed for both the head coaching job and the defensive coordinator position, could also still be around next season.


Spanos would replace linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti, the longest-tenured member of the Redskins' coaching staff. Olivadotti began coaching in Washington in 2000, as a defensive quality control coach. He began coaching the linebackers in 2007 and as given a lot of credit for the quick development of rookie Brian Orakpo, who will be playing in his first Pro Bowl.

One coach who will not be coming to Washington is former Buffalo assistant Bobby April. Several reports indicated over the past week that the Redskins had interest in April, but an NFL source said Wednesday that April, who has already interviewed with Pittsburgh and San Francisco, will not interview with the Redskins.

That could increase the chances that current special teams coach Danny Smith remains with Washington.

By Barry Svrluga and Rick Maese  |  January 13, 2010; 3:24 PM ET
 
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Comments

We'll see.

Posted by: MistaMoe | January 13, 2010 3:24 PM

Moe - I think whatever we decide, we all can agree - It's going to backfire in our faces like Acme products on Wile E. Coyote.

Posted by: Rypien11 | January 13, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

And for every Marcus Ware there's an Aaron Kampman. Dude was a beast as a 4-3 DE. He struggled when GB switched to a 3-4 before going down to an injury. I think the same fate would occur with Carter given the fact that he struggled in it before.

Posted by: ga8085 | January 13, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

If we are really going to run a 3-4, then (Jessie) Spanos is a major 'get'

But I think K. Olivadotti should have been retained. He will be a solid D-coordinator in the NFL soon.

Posted by: jgarrisn | January 13, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm so excited!! I'm so excited!! I'm so... scared!!.... Zach!!...

Posted by: Rypien11 | January 13, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Turner getting this job is old news. 4th broke this story to the bloggas 30 minutes ago. "Da Mayor" needs to step his game up.

Posted by: dcwun | January 13, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

If can get some long-time Steeler player evaluators to come to Washington I'll be really excited.

Posted by: coparker5 | January 13, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Moe - I think whatever we decide, we all can agree - It's going to backfire in our faces like Acme products on Wile E. Coyote.

Posted by: Rypien11

Has anybody ever seen a picture of Wile E. Coyote and Dan Snyder together? Is it possible they are the same person/coyote?

Posted by: zcezcest1 | January 13, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Shawn Merriman will be available in free agency next year. When healthy, he produced 12.5 and 17 sacks in the 3-4 defense.

I don't keep saying his name because I want him here. I keep saying it because I think the Redskins will definitely sign him.

Posted by: dfbovey | January 13, 2010 3:24 PM

So what pick of ours would you like to trade to SD for his services. He's only had FOUR years of service.

AJ Smith isn't letting a commodity like him walk.

Posted by: Diesel44 | January 13, 2010 3:38 PM

Posted by: Diesel44 | January 13, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

All the coaching changes are fine but I want to see us load up with a kick @$$ front office like the nats did to begin their off-season.

Posted by: alex35332 | January 13, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Can Ndamukong Suh play nose tackle? If so will it make sense to trade up for him? If we do, what about O-Line?

Posted by: abxinc | January 13, 2010 3:33 PM

He could but he would be a perfect fit as a 3-4 DE. You need a space eater that eats blocks. Casey Hampton, Shaun Rodgers, Bama NT Terrance Cody.

Posted by: Diesel44 | January 13, 2010 3:41 PM

Posted by: Diesel44 | January 13, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Good stuff. To quote Hannibal from the A-Team, "I love it when a plan comes together".

Posted by: RedSkinHead | January 13, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I wonder what Gray will do here. If Slowick joins (JReid has insisted he will in every post possible) then the only spot for him in theory is the secondary. In theory that's the only spot for Gray also. Hmmmm...

Posted by: REXskins | January 13, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

He began coaching the linebackers in 2007 and as given a lot of credit for the quick development of rookie Brian Orakpo, who will be playing in his first Pro Bowl

Quick development, Orakpo was already a natural!!!

Posted by: jiza32 | January 13, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Who will be the longest tenured Redskin after Samuels retires?

Posted by: dfbovey | January 13, 2010 3:30 PM


I believe that honor will go to Mike Sellers, despite the fact that he played one year in Clevland I think

Posted by: amaranthpa | January 13, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Who will be the longest tenured Redskin after Samuels retires?

Posted by: dfbovey | January 13, 2010 3:30 PM


I believe that honor will go to Mike Sellers, despite the fact that he played one year in Clevland I think

Posted by: amaranthpa | January 13, 2010 3:47 PM

#31 in your program but #1 in all the hamster's heart..

Posted by: Diesel44 | January 13, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

He could but he would be a perfect fit as a 3-4 DE. You need a space eater that eats blocks. Casey Hampton, Shaun Rodgers, Bama NT Terrance Cody.

Posted by: Diesel44 | January 13, 2010 3:41 PM

------------

Merriman has been in the league 5 years, and I don't think the RFA rule applies to him.

If that's the case, or if he's released (which might happen given his health issues over the past two seasons, and they've already drafted his replacement)... then he's an obvious target for the Redskins.

Posted by: dfbovey | January 13, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

3-4 Analysis


Players that conceivably are better fits for the 3-4 than the 4-3:

Brian Orakpo (OLB)
Chris Wilson (OLB)
Lorenzo Alexander (DE)
Philip Daniels (DE)

Players versatile enough to play either scheme equally:

Albert Haynesworth (DT/DE/NT)

Players with a little adjustment could work fine in a 3-4:

Jeremy Jarmon (weight/strength as a DE)
Kedrick Golston (DE)
Rocky Mac (ILB)
Cornelius Griffin (DE)

Players with legitimate concerns about the transition:

Andre Carter (OLB)
London Fletcher (ILB)
Rob Jackson (OLB)

Players unaffected by the front 7:

Hall
Landry
Rogers
Horton
Doughty
Tryon
Smoot
Barnes
Moore
Westbrook


If you look at the list of players here, it seems pretty obvious that this is a very realistic move. The guys who have legitimate concerns about the transition are either short-term players or guys that rarely contribute anyway. A number of young guys could actually be better suited for the 3-4 than the 4-3 anyway.

If this team is looking to win a Super Bowl next year, then the move wouldn't make sense because of the effect on Carter and Fletcher. But we know that isn't the plan. Fletcher and Carter aren't long-term players here regardless, so if the team is rebuilding, the effect of the transition on them shouldn't put significant influence on the decision anyway.

If Orakpo, Wilson, Jarmon, Haynesworth, and Golston can all fit into a 3-4, then I say go for it. Rocky Mac would be preferred as well. That is the young core of the front 7. So long as those guys can fit into the long-term 3-4 plans, then there's no reason to hesitate, even if Fletcher and Carter may struggle in the short term.

Posted by: psps23 | January 13, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

If that's the case, or if he's released (which might happen given his health issues over the past two seasons, and they've already drafted his replacement)... then he's an obvious target for the Redskins.

Posted by: dfbovey | January 13, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

With his history of injuries you need to low ball him because you may need a backup for him

Posted by: alex35332 | January 13, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Oops, last paragraph of my last post has the wrong quote.

Posted by: dfbovey | January 13, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Merriman has been in the league 5 years, and I don't think the RFA rule applies to him.

If that's the case, or if he's released (which might happen given his health issues over the past two seasons, and they've already drafted his replacement)... then he's an obvious target for the Redskins.

Posted by: dfbovey | January 13, 2010 3:52 PM

Drafted in 2005. Same class as our Auburn draft debacle.

RFA rules apply to everyone.

AJ Smith is the best GM in the game. He's not letting him walk.

Posted by: Diesel44 | January 13, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Who will be the longest tenured Redskin after Samuels retires?

Posted by: dfbovey | January 13, 2010 3:30 PM

Ethan Albright?

Posted by: dcsween | January 13, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

With his history of injuries you need to low ball him because you may need a backup for him

Posted by: alex35332 | January 13, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

--------------

We already have his back up on the roster. Chris Wilson.

Posted by: dfbovey | January 13, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Could some of you afficianados (sp) come up with an identity for the DEFENSE this year. Since the HOGS, that has been missing for this team for too long. A few of you seem to be very good at this sort of thing. Say after 2-3 games, maybe something like that gets some cohesiveness to that unit and then they can maybe have some in-house discussions with the offense over the seating arrangements for dinner (old school style).

So far, really liking the hires for coaches. All seem to be of the attacking type and dont put up with prima donna or just go thru the motion, grab a paycheck types. Maybe give the younger players some guidance on what it means to play NFL FOOTBALL whether highest paid or not.

Posted by: HPYTRKR1 | January 13, 2010 3:24

Posted by: HPYTRKR1 | January 13, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

dfb, merriman, was drafted same year as CR and JC.....

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | January 13, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Shifting base formations would call for straight up trades of personnel. Andre Carter has a ton of value as a result of this season.

Posted by: dcsween | January 13, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't say its realistic to go with the 3-4. Its just the way Snyder has been drafting ... undermining his coaches ... even Hall is a better DB in a 3-4 I think. He is better in zone coverage ... as is Smoot. Not sure but I suspect that Rogers is trade bait ... Barnes? Bad knees. They need new blood in DB land that's for sure. However, they have really critical needs on the offensive line and at kicker to address first. They will likely do okay with the players currently on the roster on the defensive side ... at LB and DL. Yeah, they may have another Pearl Harbor crew in DB land for the near term. Maybe we'll be surprised? Unlikely until Portoise disappears off the books.

Posted by: periculum | January 13, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

If that's the case, or if he's released (which might happen given his health issues over the past two seasons, and they've already drafted his replacement)... then he's an obvious target for the Redskins.

Posted by: dfbovey | January 13, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

If you think his PED use and subsequent injuries and decline in play are some sort of coincedence then yeah go ahead and sign him. Personally, I wouldn't go near him.

Recent underpeformance
PED use confirmed
crazy girlfriend
injury history

This is probably the best recipe for free agent bust I've ever seen.

Posted by: PAskinsfan17 | January 13, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Drafted in 2005. Same class as our Auburn draft debacle.

RFA rules apply to everyone.

AJ Smith is the best GM in the game. He's not letting him walk.

Posted by: Diesel44 | January 13, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

-----------

I read somewhere that Merriman had already restructured his rookie contract which made him exempt from RFA. I'm not totally sure that's true. But I do know that it only affects those players who are still under their original rookie contracts.

Posted by: dfbovey | January 13, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm so excited!! I'm so excited!! I'm so... scared!!.... Zach!!...

Posted by: Rypien11 | January 13, 2010 3:41 PM

YO!! That's one of my favorite episodes!

Posted by: 4thFloor | January 13, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

3-4 vs 4-3.

Don't care at this point. The 7 guys up front weren't a problem.

Its the DBs that got burned deep by mcnabb, Orton, eli, Stafford, Brees, etc. And when they needed to make a tackle, they gave it up to guys like manningham and Turner.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | January 13, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Forget Merriman, salary cap. Haynesworth and Hall have sucked it all up. its all about the OL. Samuels, Thomas aren't coming back. Levi Jones is but he is a starting right tackle at best. They need some solid draft picks for the OL. And a couple of coaches that can coach beyond this year's dysfunction. You want a moniker for the defense of a 4-12 team? OwnTheDysfunction : Owner.

Posted by: periculum | January 13, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Recent underpeformance
PED use confirmed
crazy girlfriend
injury history

This is probably the best recipe for free agent bust I've ever seen.

Posted by: PAskinsfan17

yeah, I'd be avoiding Merriman, too.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | January 13, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Forget Merriman, salary cap. Haynesworth and Hall have sucked it all up. its all about the OL. Samuels, Thomas aren't coming back. Levi Jones is but he is a starting right tackle at best. They need some solid draft picks for the OL. And a couple of coaches that can coach beyond this year's dysfunction. You want a moniker for the defense of a 4-12 team? OwnTheDysfunction : Owner.

Posted by: periculum | January 13, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

---------

Whether you think Merriman would fit in here is one issue, but salary cap is not an issue. There won't be one next year.

Posted by: dfbovey | January 13, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: alex35332 | January 13, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

This past week has been really weird. Am I actually watching a Redskins head coach choose his own staff for the upcoming season?

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake | January 13, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

sorry if you didnt read my post....i said after 2-3 games of this season....last 2 yrs were abysmal..i am looking forward not backwards.

redskins just announced that they were going to raise general admission ticket prices for 2010.

Posted by: HPYTRKR1 | January 13, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

yeah, I'd be avoiding Merriman, too.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | January 13, 2010 4:06 PM

Yeah...Merriman, Marshall, etc. They will all require draft pick compensation and the conversation is worthless unless you're talking about trading our 1st or 2nd rd pick.

ANYBODY WITH LESS THAN 6 YEARS OF SERVICE WILL BE A RFA. IF THERE IS A PLAYER WITH LESS THAN 6 YEARS THAT IS NOT TENDERED THAN THERE IS A REASON FOR IT. THEY CAN'T PLAY.

Posted by: Diesel44 | January 13, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

beep (2)

Posted by: dcsween | January 13, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

sorry if you didnt read my post....i said after 2-3 games of this season....last 2 yrs were abysmal..i am looking forward not backwards.

redskins just announced that they are not going to raise general admission ticket prices for 2010.

Posted by: HPYTRKR1 | January 13, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Merriman has been in the league 5 years, and I don't think the RFA rule applies to him.

If that's the case, or if he's released (which might happen given his health issues over the past two seasons, and they've already drafted his replacement)... then he's an obvious target for the Redskins.

Posted by: dfbovey | January 13, 2010 3:52 PM

Based on your assessment, why would want the Skins to acquire someone you described as having "health issues"?

Posted by: abxinc | January 13, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Zeke- Wasn't screaming at you.

Posted by: Diesel44 | January 13, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

3-4 vs. 4-3

Eh?

Whatever. Throw a little bit of both at them.

I think we can agree that it's not about marrying yourself to one system, but being able to:
1) throw enough different looks at an offense to confuse and keep them off balance

2) make sure your players are being put in a place that maximizes their talent/strengths

It seems to me the the top top defenses in the league do these consistently regardless of the formation.

Posted by: p1funk | January 13, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Merriman can't stay healthy.

Pass.

Posted by: edvar | January 13, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

What's wrong J Reid?? must suck not being able to get first hand news... gotta crack the Shanahan brass for your "unnamed sources"... better make some friend's fast!

Posted by: tony325 | January 13, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

The pro bowl is f-ing stupid, just another opportunity to blow a knee

Posted by: BrooklynSkins | January 13, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

We don't need the 3-4 or different DB's to reduce those 50 plus yard pass plays; we need to reduce blown coverages and handle double moves better. Some quality, tough coaching can do that. If that's done, our D improves greatly in terms of points allowed, which is what really counts. Focus on constructing a functional O line that can protect JC and facilitate an effective running game, and we'll be knocking on the door of the playoffs next year.

Posted by: kenboy1 | January 13, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Talk about Barnes, Merriman has bad wheels...

Posted by: ElYeah | January 13, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Danny Smith SUCKS!!! Please....just say no!!!

Posted by: dkidwell61 | January 13, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

3-4 or 4-3 doesn't matter to me!! Personnel Does!! Personnel will dictate wheter either scheme is successful. I mean lets look at the concerns facing the Defense. Daniels only signed a one year deal and will be 37 next season, Griffin is 33 and slowing down as well. Montgomery and Golston only signed one year deals after being RFA's last off season. This offseason they're UFA's. Andre Carter just doesn't fit in a 3-4 he's not big enough to be an DE in that scheme, trading him might not be a bad idea. Jarmon is listed at 6-3 280 so I'm not seeing where needs to add weight at as you guys are saying. We know Orakpo will be fine at OLB and McIntosh would be fine sliding into the middle and Fletcher would be ok, but he's aging as well and his size may become a problem as inside LB's in a 3-4 have to often shed a blocker more often than in a 4-3. Carlos Rogers likely won't be back due to his prone to getting beat deep and rocks for hands. Reed Doughty is a UFA cause he only signed a one yr deal as well. So outside of Horton, Landry(at SS not FS), Moore, Hall, Smoot, Tryon, and Barnes. The secondary may be the least area of worry.

Posted by: cee_212002 | January 13, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

I cannot believe the some fool on here thinks Olivadotti was a great linebackers coach, I think that position was the most underdeveloped on the team, Orakpo was great in isown right but showed to be a poor lineback as well as Mackitosh seem to never develop. This guy was a WR by skill who was given a chance to coach because of his daddy. He sucked as a linebacker coach. I'm glad we now have a real coach and these guys will now develop

Posted by: stephenwilson2003@yahoo.com | January 14, 2010 12:16 AM | Report abuse

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