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Top Coaching Options: Pros and Cons : Part 1

A look at four of the top coaching options for the Redskins this offseason.

Cowher is used to wearing B&G, now we just have to change that to Burgundy and Gold from Black and Gold
Cowher is used to wearing B&G, now we just have to change that to Burgundy and Gold from Black and Gold
Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

Here are some of the Pros and Cons of four of the Redskins top coaching options this year. These are four of my personal favorites as I'm interested in looking at defensive coaches. I'll be profiling additional coaches in the future.

Bill Cowher:


  • Career .623 winning percentage
  • Went to the playoffs 10 out of 15 years
  • Won the division 9 out of 15 years
  • Went to 6 conference championship games
  • Won with a variety of top QB's and RB's (among other positions)
  • Defensive minded coach who has a strong tradition of elite defenses


  • Has been away from the game for quite awhile
  • Might not be interested in the job with all the drama surrounding the team
Overall Thoughts:
Cowher is my top choice if he's willing to come back. There is little downside to bringing him back, and even though he hasn't coached in while he's still been around the game.

Check out my full Cowher Profile here!

Lovie Smith:

  • Career .563 winning percentage
  • Quality defensive coach, who has produced a number of top defenses over the years
  • Had little offensive talent overall, yet still found ways to win and be competitive
  • Asks his defense to create a lot of turnovers and big plays
  • Values Special teams, could look to bring Devin Hester (who is a UFA) to Washington as a returner
  • Only had one 10 loss team in his 9 year career
  • Went to the Super Bowl
  • Would likely switch the Redskins back to the 4-3, while doable it will limit the value of a couple players
  • Though not always his fault, had really bad offenses in Chicago, some of that falls on him
  • May not view Washington as an option with all the issues they've been having
  • Born in Texas, may not even be an option if he was interested in DC if the Texans hire him first
I liked Lovie Smith quite a bit as I'm not too worried about making the switch to the 4-3. It could even end up being better for the Redskins in the short term. I do think that he might not end up an option as the Texans sound to be very interested in him. If he's available though he's definitely a guy I'd love to see in Washington.

Check out my full Lovie Smith Preview Here!

Mike Zimmer:

  • One of the top defensive coordinators in the game
  • Has had a top 10 defense (yards and points) in four of the last 6 years
  • Has coached in both the 3-4 and 4-3
  • Coached under Bill Parcells and Marvin Lewis
  • Favors a strong active defensive line that gets pressure on an opposing quarterback
  • Has been looking for his first head coaching gig for a little while, is a guarantee to accept the job
  • Has watched the value of building up a team through the draft, and has helped find some very talented defensive players.
  • Has no head coaching experience, while not necessarily a bad thing it doesn't give him an established track record.
  • Has been passed up on some other job opportunities. It happens of course, but you do wonder why he wasn't a better fit.
  • A little big older for a coach looking for his first head coaching job.
Zimmer is one of my favorite coordinator options out there. I really want a defensive guy and it's hard to not be impressed with the job he's done in Cincinnati. There are some minor concerns with his getting his first head coaching job so late, but you do know that he's motivated.

Check out my full profile on Mike Zimmer here!

Ray Horton:

  • Highly respected defensive coordinator
  • Has had strong success with defenses that haven't had much offensive support
  • Had a long successful NFL playing career as well
  • Been to a total of 5 Super Bowls as a player or coach, so he knows what it takes to get there.
  • Long time defensive assistant coach for the Steelers working under the great Dick LeBeau. Also experience under Bill Cowher and Mike Tomlin.
  • Definitely searching for a head coaching job and would be basically a guarantee to take it

  • Has only three years of coordinator experience
  • Still isn't a household name, could have some fan backlash
  • Though a respected DC, hasn't had a truly elite or great defense yet
I believe Horton will be a very successful head coach at some point, and despite some of the experience/success questions about him, I would have no problem with getting him started now. I think he is a strong motivator and has done a great job with what he's had to work with so far. He's got an aggressive style of defense that could help spark a turnaround for the Redskins.

Check out my full Ray Horton profile!

Of these four coaches who do you want and how would you rank them? If you want someone else mention them in the comments. I'll be doing more of these over the next few weeks, so if you have any suggestions throw them out there.