Current Redskins Role: Inside Linebackers Coach (4th year this time, 7th year overall)
Experience as a Player: 3 years (wide receiver, Purdue)
Coaching Highlights: Various coaching positions, including defensive quality control and linebackers (2000-2010, Washington Redskins), inside linebackers coach (2011-2013, Georgia),
What He Brings to the Team: Olivadotti, who is a part of Washington’s assistant coach honor roll due to his service of more than a decade with the team, has a long history of working with successful defensive units. The Redskins’ defense was ranked in the top 10 for 80% of the seasons during Olivadotti’s first tenure, and he demonstrated an ability to coach up his players during that time. In 2009, his mentoring on the field helped two Redskins linebackers earn spots in the Pro Bowl: 12-season veteran London Fletcher (172 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 INT, 10 passes defended) and rookie Brian Orakpo (60 tackles, 11 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 2 passes defended). When Olivadotti left Washington to spend time coaching at Georgia, he worked to prepare gifted players like Alec Ogletree, current LA Rams linebacker, and Jarvis Jones, current free agent, for playing at the professional level. Most recently, Olivadotti has worked to develop the talent in young players such as Will Compton, who joined the team as a practice squad player in 2013 and was a team captain last year, and Su’a Cravens, who switched from linebacker to safety in the off season before leaving the team for a potential retirement.
Olivadotti’s ability to help refine the skills of veteran players is helpful to the team, but his ability to develop young talent is something that could be especially valuable this year. The Redskins kept six defensive rookies on the roster for 2017, including second-round draft pick Ryan Anderson and seventh-round draft pick Josh Harvey-Clemons, and having Olivadotti’s experienced hand around to support the efforts of defensive coordinator Greg Manusky will only benefit the front seven in pushing to have an impact as the season rolls on.
Fun Fact 2.0: Because, as a teacher, I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a shout out for this... Olivadotti’s undergrad degree from Purdue is in education, and his master’s degree, also from Purdue, is in education administration.
Which Olivadotti-coached player stands out in your mind as the best Redskins linebacker?
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Someone else (tell us in the section!)