Last year, the Redskins brought in a new offensive-minded head coach. Jay Gruden was a breath of fresh air throughout training camp and the first few weeks of the season, but then things took a turn south. Injury and inconsistent play from the quarterback position, and a defensive that couldn't stop a Pop Warner team, led the team down a spiraling path that along the way saw disfuction, combativeness, and a general losing attitude. The result - a 4-12 record, a new general manager, and seven new coaches.
Below are the seven main new position coaches/coordinators the Redskins added this offseason:
Bill Callahan(offensive line): Callahan is widely regarded as one of the best offensive line coaches in the NFL. His style relies on a mix of power and zone blocking, and he prefers large, nasty linemen who can control the line of scrimmage. Callahan is a technician when it comes to his coaching style, and his more hands-on approach should be a warm welcome for the younger linemen on the team. No doubt, Callahan's coaching will be challenged right out of the gate, as he will need to quickly mold two new starters in rookie right tackle Brandon Scherff and second year right guard Spencer Long. He'll also have fresh faces at center and guard in rookies Austin Reiter and Arie Kounadjio. Getting these pieces to mesh quickly and effectively will be a tough task, but if anyone is up to the challenge, Callahan is your man.
Joe Barry(defensive coordinator): Gone is Jim Haslett, and this was music to the ears of Redskins fans everywhere. Enter Joe Barry, whos track record as a defensive coordinator is a bit cloudy. What Barry does bring is a enthusiastic attitude, an aggressive one-gap scheme, and a fierce personality. New GM Scot McCloughan has given Barry some fun new toys to work with. Newly signed Nose Tackle Terrance Knighton will give the Redskins their first true 1-technique defensive linemen since they switched to the 3-4. Stephen Paea will provide the pass rush the Skins were missing from their defensive tackles, and rookie second round outside linebacker Preston Smith should help fill the void left by departed Pro Bowl outside linebacker Brian Orakpo. In the secondary, Barry will have newly signed corner Chris Culliver, and safeties Jeron Johnson and Dashon Goldson. On paper, it's a unit that is greatly improved from last season. It will be Barry's job to get them to play to that potential.
Perry Fewell(defensive backs): Fewell was a head coaching candidate in some circles. The Redskins were fortunate to have lured him in to take over as the new defensive backs coach. Unlike previous secondary coach Raheem Morris, Fewell is more authoratative. He commands respect from his players, and he prides himself on teaching technique, communication, and fundamentals of tackling. Fewell will command his deciples know their opponent well through film study; something Morris was accused of neglecting, and will have his players both physically and mentally ready to compete each week.
Matt Cavanaugh(quarterbacks): Finally, after three years without a true quarterback coach, Robert Griffin will enter his fourth season under the watchful eye of quarterback guru Matt Cavanaugh. Neither Kyle Shanahan nor Jay Gruden could take Robert to the next level as a passer, but the highly qualified Cavanaugh should have all the necessary time and resources needed to accomplish this task. If Griffin is half the quarterback the Redskins thought he was when they used the second overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft on him, and Cavanaugh is half the quarterback coach he is rumored to be, this could be a breakout season for RG3.
Robb Akey(defensive line): The former University of Idaho head coach joins the Redskins after his most recent stint as an assistant defensive line coach with the Minnesota Vikings(his first job in the NFL). He will take over an under-achieving unit with a few new faces this season. Aside from being a college head coach, Akey has served as both a defensive coordinator and special teams coordinator at the collegiate level.
Mike Clark(strength and conditioning): Clark joins the Redskins as the head strength and conditioning coach after his most recent job with the Chicago Bears in the same roll. Clark has also held positions with the Kansas City Chiefs and Seattle Seahawks, and was named NFL Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year in 2005.
Master Joe Kim(skills development): Master Kim was brought in specifically to work with the offensive and defensive linemen on hand placement and combat skills. He will also focus on strength and conditioning movement skills designed to develop both the mind and body.
Who is the Redskins most important new coaching hire? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section.