4:15pm: Washington made it official with an announcement, according to Chargers PR director Bill Johnston (on Twitter).
11:21am: Just over an hour after reports indicated that Vic Fangio would be joining the Bears as their new defensive coordinator, Washington has decided on a DC of its own, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Rapoport, who reported last Wednesday that the club planned to hire Joe Barry, tweets that Barry is indeed back on track to become the team’s new defensive coordinator — “for real this time.”
As I noted when Rapoport’s initial report surfaced, Barry has one previous stint as a defensive coordinator under his belt, with the Lions from 2007 to 2008. Of course, Barry left that position at a low point, following the club’s 0-16 campaign in ’08. Barry’s run in Detroit is perhaps best remembered for prompting one reporter to ask his father-in-law, head coach Rod Marinelli, if he wished his daughter had “married a better defensive coordinator.”
Since leaving the Lions, Barry has worked as an assistant for the Buccaneers, USC, and the Chargers, holding the position of linebackers coach at each one of those stops. As Washington’s new defensive coordinator, Barry will be tasked with turning around a unit that finished 27th in DVOA in 2014, including 32nd against the pass. The team also allowed 27.4 points per game this season, tied for the third-worst mark in the NFL.
While Barry’s hiring has yet to be officially announced, it would be a surprise at this point if it was derailed again. It seems that Washington’s plan to hire Barry only got delayed when Fangio became available — according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (via Twitter), Washington badly wanted to hire the former 49ers defensive coordinator, who ultimately chose the Bears instead.
During the club’s search to identify a replacement for Jim Haslett, Washington also reportedly interviewed Raheem Morris, Eric Mangini, Ed Donatell, Clancy Pendergast, and Wade Phillips.