Another insanely busy week here at Redskins Park where Jay Gruden has been on the job for eight plus days, and the fun has just begun.
Let's take a look at what the Redskins have done this week moving forward from the Mike Shanahan era into what is clearly a collaborative effort as the Jay Gruden/Bruce Allen regime has officially taken hold.
The Redskins promoted tight ends coach Sean McVay to offensive coordinator. The 27-year old McVay is one of the brightest young coaches in the game. The first day I met him, in July 2010, I thought he was incredibly mature and confident for a young man. He has blossomed right before everyone's eyes. McVay has universal respect from the tight-ends and that should largely translate to the entire offensive room
McVay told Doc Walker, Brian Mitchell and Scott Jackson that Jay Gruden will build his offense around the talents and skill set of the offensive pieces that he has in place, instead of forcing a system down the throat of the talent.
Another item of interest, besides McVay's breakdown of the teams in the AFC and NFC Championships which was just phenomenal stuff - was his thoughts on the Redskins defense.
"I love the scheme. I hate going against our defense in training camp, I think it's a very sound system, so yeah I do love the 34."
Which brings us to Jim Haslett. "Haz" was retained officially by the Redskins on Friday. As we have mentioned over the last two weeks, Haslett will continue to lead the defense much to the mind numbing dismay of Redskins fans.
I suppose that I should take the fanatical hatred for Haslett into account, the way Bruce Allen and Jay Gruden did. Which is to say, they didn't. I have explained this a million times over, and will just say that I trust Bruce Allen, Jay Gruden and former head coach Mike Shanahan's opinion on how qualified Haslett is over a disgruntled fan base looking for a sacrificial lamb.
Not to mention, the Redskins denied a request from the New York Jets and at least one other team to talk to Haslett, multiple league sources told ESPN 980. I wonder why Rex Ryan, who is widely considered a brilliant defensive mind would want to talk to Haslett if he was so bad at his job, as a hard core group of fans allege? Maybe it's because qualified football minds know the truth.
Another thing, Tom Coughlin tried to hire Haslett before Mike Shanahan did, when Haslett was in the UFL for a year. The Giants finished up their 2009 season with a couple of blowouts and fired coordinator Bill Sheridan after just one season. They eventually hired Perry Fewell, as Haslett chose the opportunity with Shanahan. If memory serves me correct, that's TWO two-time Super Bowl Champion head coaches that thought very highly of Haslett's coaching abilities.
Gruden confirmed that to Keim, saying that issue will be broached on Monday. The Redskins also officially retained defensive backs coach Raheem Morris and defensive line coach Jacob Burney, while adding inside linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti who is more than familiar with the DC landscape. Jim Haslett also was able to hire Brian Baker to be his new outside linebackers/pass rush coach, as first reported by ESPN980 on Tuesday.
In other news in Redskins land, Gruden told the Washington Post that former Redskins wide receivers coach Ike Hilliard is expected to return after a one year hiatus in Buffalo. A very strange situation indeed, but perhaps Hilliard wanted to do more than he was allowed to do under Kyle and Mike Shanahan and it just didn't work out with the Bills.
The Redskins did not make the news official, but the connection is obvious and Hilliard is more than familiar with many of the players he will be coaching again.
Washington did confirm the hiring of new tight ends coach, Wes Phillips who is the son of a Wade (Phillips), who is the Son of a Bum (as in the late Bum Phillips). Wes served as a Cowboys offensive assistant in various roles, until becoming their tight ends coach in 2013. He took a lateral position, but his contractual status with the Cowboys was unclear. Phillips was instrumental in the continued great play of Jason Witten and the development of 2nd round pick, Gavin Escobar.
The 34-year old Phillips also played quarterback at UTEP.
In non-coaching news, Alfred Morris is headed to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl next weekend, and was chosen as the team's representative for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award.
Finally, it appears as if the Redskins are going to dodge a bullet by not losing Morocco Brown to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as many national reporters have indicated that the Bucs are focusing on other candidates. For whatever it is worth, Morocco told me he had an excellent interview last weekend with the Bucs, and eventually will get a higher profile gig that the Redskins may be forced to deal with.
Chris Russell - SFTheRooster@Yahoo.com - www.twitter.com/russellmania980