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Daily Slop - 10 Feb 24: Commanders new ST Coordinator, Izzo, had top-8 unit each of the past 3 years in Seattle

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NFL: DEC 12 Seahawks at Texans Photo by John Rivera/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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Commanders hire Larry Izzo as special teams coordinator

One day after adding former Eagles offensive coordinator Brian Johnson to a prominent role and hiring Jason Simmons as defensive pass-game coordinator, Quinn has found his special teams coordinator.

Per Ben Standig of The Athletic, the Commanders are hiring Seattle Seahawks special teams coordinator Larry Izzo.

Izzo, 49, enjoyed a 14-year NFL career that ended in 2009. A linebacker, Izzo made his mark on special teams, earning three trips to the Pro Bowl and was named first-team All-Pro in 2004. He also has three Super Bowl rings from his time with the New England Patriots.

After retirement, Izzo started coaching in 2011 as an assistant special teams coach with the New York Giants. He stayed with the Giants in that role for five seasons before heading to Houston to become the special teams coordinator for the next two seasons.

In 2018, he moved to the Seahawks, first as assistant special teams coach for three seasons. He was promoted to special teams coordinator in 2021 and has experienced tremendous success.

According to FTN’s special teams DVOA metric, the Seahawks finished fifth, fourth, and eighth, respectively, over the past three seasons.


Riggo’s Rag

Orlando Brown Jr. outlined why he believes former Commanders offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy doesn’t have a head coaching job.

During an appearance on Nightcap with Shannon Sharpe and Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson, four-time Pro Bowler Orlando Brown Jr. revealed that Bieniemy’s old-school methods could be holding him back. He spoke about owners wanting someone they can relate to. He’s witnessed bust-ups with players and coaches alike. But the former third-round pick did praise his ex-coach for bringing the best out of him despite such high demands.

“It’s really unfortunate because - and I hate to put it like this - often times ownership ends up in a situation where they look for a guy they can relate to and feel comfortable with. If you own a business and looking to hire, you’d be looking for that too. Often times I think EB [Eric Bieniemy] has gotten caught in the wing of that in terms of how he is as a coach. He’s a great coach, but he’s old school and he’s gonna let you know. I’ve seen him get into it with 15 [Patrick Mahomes], coach [Andy] Reid, he’s the real deal. That’s what I appreciated about him as a coach, his attention to detail he came with on a daily basis, his energy. I don’t wanna take too much away from players, but he’s one of the things that kept the engine rolling. Teams want to hire that young QB mind to lock him up for a long time. It’s weird to see how the game has gone.”

- Orlando Brown Jr. via Nightcap

This seems to be the consensus surrounding Bieniemy. He’s stuck in his ways and unwilling to change. He’s been accused of being unable to adapt to the modern-day player. While this is done with the best intentions, it doesn’t always bring about the right responses.

The game has changed, for good or bad. Players get paid more than ever. Some don’t take well to being signaled out for criticism in front of their teammates. Others thrive under this pressure, but it’s not hard to see why Bieniemy might rub some people up the wrong way.

Riggo’s Rag

3 realistic NFL Draft scenarios facing the Commanders at No. 2 overall

The Commanders have a franchise-altering decision to make...

No. Kingsbury’s hiring does not increase the odds any more than you picking Williams’ jersey No. 13 as your Powerball.

There. Glad I could answer that question.

Of course, that still leaves plenty of other questions unanswered. How will Adam Peters, Dan Quinn, and others involved plan to approach their first-round selection this April? Kingsbury’s arrival certainly doesn’t decrease the chances of a deal involving Williams. That was always a possibility, however remote.

Let’s play this out. Perhaps the Chicago Bears do their pre-draft work and decide the player they want is Marvin Harrison Jr. They will either stick with incumbent quarterback Justin Fields or draft a signal-caller late - perhaps at No. 9 overall.

If this is Ryan Poles’ plan, the first team he will negotiate with is the Washington Commanders. That is the only way he can be assured of getting Harrison. He might be able to create a bidding war with the New England Patriots at No. 3 - who also need a quarterback.

In this scenario, the Commanders control the narrative here because if the Bears drop to No. 3, Washington could trade out with a team that wants Harrison. There’s a lot of chicken played at this point. Chicago would likely prefer to remove all uncertainty and trade with the one team they know ensures they get a generational wide receiver.

Though the draft chart says that moving up one spot should only cost Washington one of its two second-rounders, these things never work out that cleanly. With New England and perhaps another team or two in the conversation, the Commanders will have to shell out more to land Caleb Williams.

A probable trade option would see Washington get the No. 1 pick to spend on Williams. Chicago gets the No. 2 pick, the Commanders’ pick at No. 36, and their 2025 first-rounder. Poles would then be able to select Harrison and possibly use his abundance of draft capital to move back up for Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels if he so desires.

For the record, though I admire Williams’ upside, I would not make this deal if I were Washington.


Burgundy & Gold Report

Robinson’s Stock Continues to Rise | Commanders NFL Draft

Darius Robinson

6’5” 286 lbs | DE | MIZZ

Draft Proj Late 3rd Rd

Career (43 games)- 112 TAK (43 solo), 21 TFLs, 1 PD, 13 SACKS, 1 FF & 1 FF

2023 (12 games)- 43 TAK (29 solo), 14 TFLs, 9 SACKS 1 FF & 1 FF

In 2022 Robinson played in 12 games (417 snaps) registering 21 tackles, 5 assists, and 18 stops. As a pass rusher, he tallied 18 total pressures, which included 9 QB hurries, 6 QB hits, and 3 sacks during his senior season.

As a graduate student in ‘23, the 5th year senior saw extended time as the starting defensive end for the first time in his career, replacing Isaiah McGuire who departed for the NFL (‘23 4th rd Browns).

On the season Robinson was active in 11 games (466 snaps) registering 43 tackles (29 solo), 14 tackles for a loss, 42 pressures, 6 QB hits and a career-high 8 sacks.

For his efforts Wilson was named to the 2023 1st-Team All-SEC (AP and Coaches) and was invited to the Senior Bowl.

Outlook

Although Robinson didn’t start playing organized football until his junior year in high school, he was a valuable chess piece in Missouri’s defense. He does have the flexibility to play inside, but he looked at his best when on the edge.

Robinson definitely helped his stock during his week on Mobile, earning the Senior Bowl Practice Player of the Week.

The NFL Combine will help teams get a better idea of Robinson’s athletic attributes, but he’s already made an impression as a coach-able edge rusher that can be molded with continued development.


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Big Blue View

Ex-Giants’ defensive coordinator Wink Martindale set to join Michigan Wolverines

The veteran coach will join the national champions

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, former New York Giants defensive coordinator Wink Martindale is finalizing a deal to become the new defensive coordinator of the national champion Michigan Wolverines.

A 20-year NFL coaching veteran, Martindale was a candidate for the open defensive coordinator positions of the Philadelphia Eagles and Jacksonville Jaguars after he departed from the Giants.

However, he will now head to the Big Ten conference and join new head coach Sherrone Moore’s staff to take control of the Wolverines’ defense.


Big Blue View

Stay or go? Saquon Barkley’s pending free agency hangs over Giants’ offseason

How should the Giants approach negotiations with the star running back?

Barkley is in the midst of a second straight offseason filled with uncertainty. Last year, Barkley and the Giants negotiated to the 11th (12th?) hour before reportedly falling just a couple of million dollars short of agreeing on a multi-year deal. That forced Barkley to do something he didn’t want to do, play out the 2023 season on an amended franchise tag.

Barkley and the Giants find themselves right back where they were a year ago. GM Joe Schoen has said he will not negotiate with Barkley’s new representation, Ed Berry of Creative Artists Agency (CAA) until the NFL Combine later this month.

When those negotiations do take place, will the outcome be any different this time around? Will Barkley and the Giants be able to find a multi-year deal? Barkley has said he wants something that is “fair.” He has not, though, indicated what “fair” is. If they can’t find common ground, would the Giants use the franchise tag again, this time at a cap hit of $12.1 million?

He seemed to be thinking of the Giants in the past tense when he said “I’m really happy and fortunate that I was able to get drafted to such a special place. Hopefully in those six years I was able to make an impact on somebody.”


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Trent Williams says he’ll play at least a couple more years

San Francisco left tackle Trent Williams is 35 years old, and he’s done just about everything in the NFL except earn a Super Bowl ring. So if the 49ers win on Sunday, could Williams see that as the perfect way to end his career?

No. Williams says he’s definitely playing in 2024. And 2025 as well. And perhaps beyond that.

“I haven’t thought about the end, so I know I’m definitely in for the next couple of years,” Williams said, via NBCSportsBayArea.com. “I’ll revisit it after that. Winning on Sunday will only make me want to win another one next year. When you can achieve something that feels this good, you kind of get addicted to it, right? You want to achieve that award again. So I think that it will only make me want it more.”

Williams is under contract to the 49ers for three more seasons. His cap hits are huge, at more than $30 million per year for the next three years. But he’s still playing at a very high level.


Deadspin

Tell us how you really feel, Woody

New York Jets owner Johnson trashes QB Zach Wilson, puts HC Robert Saleh and GM Joe Douglas on notice

“The discussions I’ve had in the last couple of months, they’ve seen me about as mad as I can be with what was going on, with the offense particularly,” Johnson said, according to reports. “We have all this talent, and we have to deploy talent properly. So I think they all got the message. This is it. This is the time to go. We’ve got to produce this year.”

The Jets finished 31st — second to last — in total yards and 29th in scoring with Wilson — the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft — Tim Boyle, and Trevor Siemian all taking turns at quarterback.

After Rodgers’ injury, Gang Green opted not to sign a veteran signal-caller such as Joe Flacco, who was with the Jets in 2021 and ‘22.

“You need a backup quarterback,” Johnson said. “We didn’t have one last year.”

Since Douglas was hired, New York has gone 27-60. The Jets are 18-33 under Saleh, and have missed the playoffs for the past 13 years.


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