Who will be the Redskins’ next defensive coordinator? Here are some names.

The Redskins should have some intriguing candidates to pick from as they search for a new defensive coordinator to replaced fired Joe Barry. The names of those in the running will begin to trickle out in the coming dates. But here are some coaches that could receive consideration, and why:

Wade Phillips – Phillips has a resume that is second to none. He remains in limbo right now following Gary Kubiak’s departure in Denver. The Broncos will leave their assistants’ futures up to their next head coach. But Phillips tweeted that he’s unemployed. Phillips has great familiarity with the Redskins. His son, Wes, is the tight ends coach in Washington. Phillips used to attend Redskins games prior to joining the Broncos staff, and he did his homework on this defense when interviewing for the Redskins job two years ago. He wanted the job back then, people familiar with his thinking said, and he expected to get it. He was surprised when Barry got the nod. Phillips leads aggressive and creative attacks. In the last 10 seasons, all but one of Phillips’ defenses has ranked among the top 10 in the NFL. He definitely seems capable giving the Redskins the fiery leader and teacher that veteran players and young players alike need. Gus Bradley – Fired this year after four seasons as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Bradley is another respected defensive mind. He doesn’t have as strong a track record as Phillips. During four seasons as defensive coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks, Badley led two top-10 defenses. Bradley has ties to the Redskins organization, both because General Manager Scot McCloughan worked in Seattle as well, but also because he worked in Tampa under Jon Gruden, when Bruce Allen was general manager there, and Jay Gruden an offensive assistant. Paul Guenther – The Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator ranks among Jay Gruden’s good friends, and when he took the head coaching job with the Redskins, Gruden tried to bring Guenther – then a linebackers coach with Cincinnati – with him to work alongside then defensive coordinator Jim Haslett. However, the Bengals ended up promoting him to defensive coordinator. There had been talk that Marvin Lewis’ time in Cincinnati would end this offseason, and there was speculation that Guenther  could become available. But Lewis has announced that he is not retiring. So, it’s hard to say if the Bengals would let him interview or not. Also, it’s a lateral move. So, Guenther could opt to remain where he is and line himself up for a head coaching job (eventually taking over for Lewis, or elsewhere). Gregg Williams – Williams served as defensive coordinator under Joe Gibbs and was expected to receive some consideration to replace Gibbs, but ultimately did not. Dan Snyder and Williams still have a good relationship, and Williams also is very good friends with Jon Gruden, and knows Jay Gruden. Williams remains in limbo following the Los Angeles Rams’ firing of Jeff Fisher. Like the Broncos, the Rams are leaving their assistants’ futures up to their next head coach. Williams led top-10 defenses with the Redskins in three of his four seasons in Washington. His Rams defense ranked ninth in the NFL. He’s regarded as another aggressive and creative coach who is good at maximizing talent. Greg Manusky – Currently Washington’s outside linebackers coach, Manusky has nine years of defensive coordinator experience (San Francisco, San Diego and Indianapolis). He was defensive coordinator in San Francisco during McCloughan’s time there. Manusky and inside linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti were the only two defensive coaches retained despite Barry’s firing. He has supporters at Redskins Park and is regarded as an effective teacher and communicator. Manusky has received praise from his bosses for helping Ryan Kerrigan record double-digit sacks and Pro Bowl honors this season despite playing on a lighter workload while rotating with Trent Murphy (career-high nine sacks this year) and Preston Smith (4.5 sacks). Manusky also is a feel-good story, which Allen loves. He played for the Redskins from 1988-90. Steve Wilks – Here’s a candidate without defensive coordinator experience, but he does have a track record of success and leadership. Currently, Carolina’s assistant head coach/defensive backs coach, Wilks is expected to receive some defensive consideration this offseason. He would seemingly make some sense to receive some consideration from the Redskins giving his success with Josh Norman in Carolina. Norman has a lot of respect for Wilks and has praised him repeatedly for helping him develop into a star in the NFL.
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