The lasting memory from the Redskins' Week 17 loss to the Giants was Kirk Cousins' late interception that sealed the team's fate. Playoffs hopes officially dashed, the focus shifted to what the future holds for the team and the quarterback, who played the 2016 season on the $19.5 franchise tag.
While we wait for that story to write itself, the Redskins announced Thursday that they has parted ways with four assistant coaches: Defensive coordinator Joe Barry, defensive line coach Robb Akey, defensive backs coach Perry Fewell and strength and conditioning coach Mike Clark.
See a theme there?
Had heard complaints about Fewell since beginning of last season. Thought it had improved. Heard more about him Monday.— John Keim (@john_keim) January 5, 2017
The Redskins' defense wasn't good in 2016 -- despite the addition of cornerback Josh Norman -- and it cost people their jobs. In fact, according to Football Outsiders, Washington's defense ranked 25th in the league (24th against the pass, 25th against the run), while its offense was fifth, behind only the Falcons, Patriots, Cowboys and Packers -- four teams that qualified for the playoffs.
Next up: Finding a new defensive coordinator.
Recently fired Rex Ryan would be an intriguing choice; he's not been a very good head coach in recent years but he's always been a fantastic coordinator. Whether he'd have interest in a coordinator job -- or whether Jay Gruden would want Ryan's bigger-than-life personality in the building -- is another matter.
Another interesting choice: Gus Bradley, who parlayed his success as the Seahawks' defensive coordinator into the Jaguars head-coaching job. Bradley was fired last month after 14 wins in four seasons.
Meanwhile, ESPN.com's John Keim says that Redskins current outside linebackers coach Greg Manusky could be a name to watch. Manusky was the Chargers' defensive coordinator in 2011 (San Diego's defense finished 29th), and held the same position with the Colts from 2012-2015 (Indy's D finished 31st, 16th, 13th and 13th).