Tex- thanks for the update.
I think we need to go with Gregg Williams, although that mystery 3rd candidate makes me think they talked to Bill Cowher. Since we are a veteran team, I don't think we need to bring in anyone else... and we were a playoff team with a lot more potential (ie, when Campbell comes back healthy and after an offseason where we can recover from Taylor fully and get healthy on the offensive line). Our coaching job is much more marketable than any on the market (unless Dungy retires). That said, I think the best move is to hire Gregg Williams. He has credibility and hopefully a relationship with Al Saunders so that we can have full continuity minus Gibbs and a few others (will Bugel/Breaux leave?).
For the draft, I think we have to think about two things. #1 -- is Reed Doughty our starting strong safety? He's not bad, but he's not what Gregg Williams envisioned when we had Taylor and Landry. If we're trying to have that formidable of a backfield, we may have to look at Kenny Phillips of Miami in the first round. He may not be available at that point, but he also could be. If he is, it would be tough to turn him down, especially if Williams is HC.
But, maybe we should be taking a WR. If we keep Reche Caldwell (please do!) we will have Moss/ARE/Caldwell, which is a very good WR corps. However, if we grab a guy like Mario Manningham, we'd have a truly top-notch WR corps if Manningham pans out. He's a 6 foot guy who has definitely made some plays. There are other receivers worth looking at, and the first round should have plenty of WR prospects in it (Desean Jackson, Malcolm Kelly, Limas Sweed, Early Doucet, etc).
Or -- we could go a radically new direction and draft a legitimate pass rushing defensive end to go opposite Andre Carter. Andre had a fantastic year this year, but our D-line needs help. I really like Chris Wilson, who was totally unheralded. He is a great passrusher and has a lot of speed off the edge. But if we draft a legitimate passrushing threat, we could be a totally different defense. Carter will notch between 8-12 sacks a year for a while, with the potential to get a few more than that, but we need to be able to get pressure on our 4 and 5 man rushes... which we don't. We were beaten by quarterbacks who were able to have a lot of time in the pocket, especially early in the season. I think if we grab a passrushing DE (or get Glenn Dorsey through virtue of miracle) we would be a different team completely.
I think we'll probably think about grabbing all of these positions, plus another OL and maybe a LB in the draft this year. The question is, what is the priority? I think we could get away with drafting a good safety in the 2nd or 3rd round, and can definitely find an OL in the mid-rounds. I think we don't need to grab one high because we're set at every position except LG (Heyer and Jansen at RT will be a good battle -- but I honestly wouldn't be surprised if Jansen is gone this year.. more on that later), and Pete Kendall is serviceable for another year.
I think that we decide between WR and DE at 21 (why is #21 the only number that ever seems to attach itself to the Redskins this year?!?!). If we sign Caldwell, my guess is that we take a DE in the first, a WR in the 2nd, a S in the 3rd, an OL in the 5th and a LB in there somewhere. Could we get a compensatory pick for Sean Taylor? I don't know what's up with that.
One more issue -- cap space. As everyone has seen, we have some guys with atrocious cap figures this year. Without factoring in cap penalties:
Brandon Lloyd's 4 million will be goners, Clinton Portis will renegotiate (due 8.9 on the cap), Mark Brunell's 6 million dollar hit will be gone or drastically reduced, Thomas/Samuels (combine for about 16 mil) are gonna need to reduce, and Shawn Springs (7.5 million) is an issue. The other issue is Jon Jansen has an 8.8 mil cap hit this year, which is 2nd most on the team behind CP. Jansen has played 2 of the last 4 seasons and is now 31. I think he is the toughest call to make, because he was slipping a little bit before his last injury (I think) and now we have Stephon Heyer, who costs nothing, waiting in the wings. I think Jansen either severely renegotiates, retires, or is cut. As sad as that is to say, I think that is the inevitable reality.
What do you guys think of all this?