The search for the new Defensive Coordinator for the Washington Redskins is officially on after the team and former DC Jim Haslett "mutually agreed to part ways" yesterday. Jim Haslett was brought in by Mike Shanahan to install a 3-4 defense. Haslett somehow survived the purge of the Mike Shanahan regime, and was given a chance to run the defense without much oversight from new Head Coach jay Gruden. The results were not pretty, and while the team dealt with multiple injuries to starters this season, the team often looked lost and the defense had few signature performances during the season.
The Redskins were expected to interview several candidates currently on the coaching staff, possibly including defensive backs coach Raheem Morris, inside linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti, and outside linebackers coach Brian Baker. ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting this morning that the Redskins are setting up interviews with several coaches from outside the organization. Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers mutually agreed to part ways this week, and now Harbaugh is the new head coach at his alma mater Michigan.
This leaves a lot of coaching question marks in San Francisco, and opportunities for other teams to talk to potential coaching hires. Schefter is reporting that 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and defensive backs coach Ed Donatell are two candidates the Redskins want to interview for their open DC job. Fangio is reportedly interested in the 49ers head coach job, and interviewed for it on Tuesday. If he does not get that job, his future in San Fran is in question with a new head coach coming in. Fangio has been the 49ers DC since 2011, and has previously been the DC with the Panthers(95-98), Colts(99-01), and Texans(02-05), as well as a Defensive consultant with the Ravens(06-10). Fangio's defenses have been leaders in the NFL, and Fangio has been considered a HC candidate in the past. It seems unlikely the Redskins would be able to land him, but money talks and an uncertain job situation/being spurned for the HC job could make it possible.
49ers defensive backs coach Ed Donatell also has previous NFL experience as a defensive coordinator. He was the DC for the Packers(00-03) and the Falcons(04-06). Donatell also joined the 49ers in 2011 when Jim Harbaugh became the head coach, and he has held the same position with the team since then. Donatell has been getting interest recently for defensive coordinator positions that have opened up, and could be a real option for the Redskins this year.
The third potential defensive coordinator candidate that Schefter mentioned was San Diego Chargers linebackers coach Joe Barry. Barry comes from the Buccaneers coaching tree, and won a Super Bowl ring in 2002 when he was the Bucs linebackers coach. Barry has experience at defensive coordinator, holding the job with the Detroit Lions(07-08). Barry joined the Chargers as their linebackers coach in 2012. With the Bucs connection, he has to be considered a leading candidate.
Redskins setting up DC interviews with 49ers DC Vic Fangio, 49ers DB coach Ed Donatell and SD LB coach Joe Barry, per sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 1, 2015
The Washington Post's Mike Jones also brought up a name that has been discussed extensively among fans, Wade Phillips.
Another league source said that the Redskins may consider interviewing long-time defensive coordinator Wade Phillips for the position. Phillips, who most recently served as defensive coordinator and interim head coach of the Houston Texans in 2013, currently is without a job. His son, Wes, serves as tight ends coach for Washington. Phillips also worked with current Redskins personnel executive A.J. Smith from 2004-06 as defensive coordinator of the San Diego Chargers. Phillips attended several Redskins games this past season.