Bill Callahan

Browns To Hire Bill Callahan As OL Coach

Shortly after his run as Redskins interim head coach ended, Bill Callahan will land on his feet in a familiar role. The Browns are expected to hire Callahan as their next offensive line coach, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.

They will be the fifth team to bring Callahan in as O-line coach, following the Eagles, Jets, Cowboys and Redskins. While Callahan has held higher-profile titles, most notably Raiders head coach, his primary NFL role has been as an O-line instructor.

Callahan will work with new Browns HC Kevin Stefanski for the first time. This takes the 63-year-old assistant out of the running for a Giants job. He was in play for Big Blue’s offensive line coach position, per Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (Twitter link). Former Cowboys boss Jason Garrett was named OC recently. Callahan worked under Garrett as Dallas’ OC from 2012-14 but accepted a job with the Redskins in 2015. He remained with Washington through the end of the 2010s.

Callahan will replace James Campen, who spent one season working as Browns O-line coach. While the Browns’ offensive line struggled in pass protection — namely at tackle — it ranked 11th in adjusted line yards, helping Nick Chubb to a second-place rushing finish.

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Redskins To Part Ways With Bill Callahan

Offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell could keep his job under new head coach Ron Rivera, but the same can’t be said for Bill Callahan. The Redskins will move on from the offensive line coach and one-time interim head coach, according to John Keim of ESPN.com (on Twitter). 

[RELATED: Redskins To Hire Jack Del Rio]

Callahan expressed interest in staying in Washington, though his comments came before the Rivera hire. It’s not clear if he would have been open to staying on as an assistant, however.

The Redskins went 0-5 under Jay Gruden and didn’t fare much better with Callahan at the helm. After a 3-8 showing in the final eleven games, they gave Callahan some consideration full-time post, but it might have been more of a courtesy than anything.

There should be plenty of opportunities out there for Callahan if he wants to serve as an assistant elsewhere.

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Latest On Redskins’ HC Plans, Front Office

After little emerged on the Redskins front for weeks following Jay Gruden‘s firing, the struggling franchise is dominating the early-weekend news cycle. Bruce Allen‘s role as team president is not safe, with a Black Monday dismissal being considered.

The Redskins are considering firing their 10-year front office czar, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports, adding that Allen may have a chance to remain with the organization in a non-football role. That would be an interesting setup given Allen’s tumultuous tenure in Washington, but Dan Snyder is pondering widespread changes to his football operations department.

Replacement options for Allen include ex-Texans GM Rick Smith and former NFL executive-turned-TV analyst Louis Riddick, La Canfora adds, noting Snyder has done research on a few personnel execs. Smith resigned from his Houston post after the 2017 season but is open to returning to the league. Riddick worked with the Redskins from 2001-07, serving as a scout and pro personnel director. He subsequently held the same role with the Eagles.

As for Washington’s HC opening, Snyder has “strong interest” in Ron Rivera, per JLC. The longtime Redskins owner is also interested in Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, ex-Jets HC and current Buccaneers DC Todd Bowles, longtime Bengals HC Marvin Lewis and former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer. These are consolation prizes, though, with La Canfora reporting Snyder’s primary hope is to work out a trade for Mike Tomlin. Snyder is not optimistic about such a deal. The prospect of bringing the Virginia native to Washington surfaced two-plus months ago.

The prospect of bringing aboard a defensive coach opens the door to Washington sticking with top offensive incumbents Bill Callahan and Kevin O’Connell. Snyder is high on both his interim HC and first-year OC, according to La Canfora. Callahan expressed interest in staying on, though it’s not known if he would stick around under another head coach, and O’Connell has been the primary Dwayne Haskins developer this season. Snyder was the driving force behind the Redskins’ Haskins pick, overruling Gruden.

Allen has not excelled in Washington, but neither have most of the head coaches under Snyder. The Redskins have not made the playoffs in consecutive seasons under the 21st-year owner.

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Redskins’ Bill Callahan Wants To Stay

Redskins interim head coach Bill Callahan wants to shed the interim label, as Kareem Copeland of the Washington Post writes. Callahan, who took over in October, believes the team has made significant strides under his watch. 

I look at the fight of our players,” Callahan said. “I look at the resiliency, and [I] tried to bring back a work ethic into the program that I thought was lacking. I thought our players could have been better fundamentally. . . . I saw our players get better and compete for four quarters. I saw our players have stamina through four quarters of play. I thought long and hard about improving the team and what aspects I would really focus on. A lot of that was the second-half finish, and I thought we did that.”

The Redskins were 0-5 under Jay Gruden, but they’ve gone 3-7 under Callahan in the last ten games. Many believe that the Redskins will opt for a splashy hire, rather than staying the course with Callahan, but the 63-year-old isn’t giving up hope.

As Copeland notes, veterans were freelancing outside the scheme under Gruden in an effort to pad their stats. That didn’t necessarily stop under Callahan, but there have been fewer instances of players operating outside of play calls in recent weeks. Still, the Redskins still rank 31st in scoring offense and 24th in scoring defense.

Callahan will reportedly be considered for the gig, but he’s certainly not the frontrunner.

 

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Redskins To Consider Bill Callahan For Full-Time Job

The Redskins will consider interim head coach Bill Callahan for the so-called “permanent” post (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). That makes two known internal candidates – offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell is also getting real consideration for the job. Rapoport expects the Redskins to evaluate Callahan and O’Connell before opening things up to external candidates in December. 

[RELATED: Redskins Considering OC Kevin O’Connell For HC Job]

If Callahan wants the gig, he’ll have to find a way to turn things around in Washington. Heading into tonight’s game against the Vikings, the Redskins are 1-6 with their only win coming against the lowly Dolphins a couple of weeks back.

O’Connell hasn’t gotten tremendous results, either, but he is highly respected around the league and in the Redskins’ front office. The Redskins, for all their woes, have a history of developing young offensive coaches that have skyrocketed through the ranks. After Sean McVay, Matt LaFleur, and Kyle Shanahan found success elsewhere, the Redskins may be inclined to keep O’Connell in their yard.

In other Redskins news – running back Adrian Peterson and cornerback Josh Norman are active for tonight’s game against the Vikings. The Redskins may also see Trent Williams again sometime soon, though there’s no guarantee that he’ll play even if he does report.

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Kevin O’Connell Serious Candidate For Redskins’ HC Job

Redskins offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell is expected to receive serious consideration for the team’s head coaching post, as Mark Maske of the Washington Post writes. O’Connell, 34, has been with Washington since 2017, and this season is his first as the Redskins’ OC.

Before Washington elevated him from passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach in January, O’Connell garnered interest from multiple other teams. For all of the Redskins’ problems, they have had a number of young and talented coaches rise through their ranks — Sean McVay, Matt LaFleur, and Kyle Shanahan, to name a few — and apparently there is a belief that O’Connell can follow in their footsteps.

Washington is near the bottom of the league in points per game and yards per game this year, but the offense is largely bereft of talent at the skill positions and along the O-line, so it would be difficult to hold the performance of O’Connell’s unit against him. As Maske notes, the real question will be whether O’Connell, interim HC Bill Callahan, or an outside candidate will be best-suited to maximize Dwayne Haskins‘ potential.

Owner Dan Snyder has not had much problem luring big-name head coaches to the nation’s capital; the problem has been making it work once those coaches arrive. Plus, team president Bruce Allen could be an obstacle. One of Maske’s sources, an agent who represents coaches, said that no coach worth his salt will accept an HC job with the Redskins as long as Allen is in charge of personnel.

In addition to O’Connell, Maske names Gregg Williams, Marvin Lewis, and Mike McCarthy as big names who could attract Snyder’s interest.

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Redskins Notes: Gruden, Haskins, Williams

This morning, the Redskins did what everyone expected and fired head coach Jay Gruden. The move follows a 33-7 loss to the Patriots, dropping Washington to 0-5 on the season. Besides his disappointing record, there also seemed to be a disconnect between the front office and the sixth-year coach; Gruden reportedly wasn’t a fan of the team’s decision to select quarterback Dwayne Haskins with the No. 15 overall pick.

Needless to say, it’s been a busy day in Washington, and there have a been a number of additional Redskins notes since this afternoon:

  • Nobody likes to lose their job, but it sounds like Gruden isn’t beating himself up over the firing. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets that the now-former head coach was expecting the move and is doing fine. Rapoport also notes that the firing allows the organization to be completely transparent about their head coaching search (as opposed to be covert if Gruden was still on the sideline).
  • During his presser earlier today, team president Bruce Allen deferred to interim head coach Bill Callahan when asked if Haskins would now start under center. The coach later told reporters that the first-rounder is not a candidate to start right now (via NFL Network’s Mike Garafalo on Twitter). The coach did say that they’re currently evaluating the health of Case Keenum and Colt McCoy, but it sounds like one of the veterans will start against the Dolphins on Sunday.
  • Allen was also asked about the status of offensive lineman Trent Williams, who continues to sit out. The executive told reporters that “there’s been no dialogue with any other team” regarding a trade, and Allen also said the team isn’t actively shopping the veteran. Today’s head coaching move also didn’t move the needle when it comes to a potential return for Williams; a source told ESPN’s Dianna Russini (Twitter link) that the 31-year-old “doesn’t have any plans of returning to the Redskins anytime soon.”
  • We hate to rub dirt in the wound, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter points out (on Twitter) that the Redskins’ coaching staff once consisted of Kyle Shanahan, Sean McVay, and Matt LaFleuer. The three current head coaches (with the 49ers, Rams, and Packers, respectively) currently have a combined 2019 record of 10-3.

Redskins Fire Jay Gruden

The Redskins have officially fired head coach Jay Gruden. In the interim, offensive line/assistant head coach Bill Callahan will take over the operation, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). 

Through the first five games of the 2019 season, the team has clearly not performed up to expectations, and we all share in that responsibility,” the team said, via press release. “Moving forward we are committed to doing all that we can collectively as an organization to turn things around and give our Redskins fans and alumni a team they can be proud of in 2019 and beyond.”

Last week, we heard another round of reports indicating a rift between Gruden and the organization, specifically as it pertains to first-round pick Dwayne Haskins. Reportedly, owner Dan Snyder & Co. drove the selection of the Ohio State quarterback – Gruden did not want him. This year, Gruden refused to start Haskins, citing his lack of NFL readiness.

Of course, Gruden’s recent off-the-field controversy didn’t help matters either. Days ago, a video surfaced in which Gruden appears to be smoking marijuana with a young woman. The Redskins declined to comment on the viral video, but it has been speculated that the Redskins leaked these year-old videos, so they could fire Gruden “with cause”, helping to ease potential financial ramifications of a firing. It’s reminiscent of circumstances leading up to the firing of GM Scot McCloughan.

Gruden also addressed recent comments by ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, where Smith stated that Gruden had quit on his team.

I heard about that one. That one is far from the truth. Those are fighting words for me,” Gruden said. “That’s one thing I will never do or have done in my life. I work extremely hard, getting up early as hell and working late and doing the best I can to get ourselves a victory this week. I have a lot of respect for everyone in this locker room and the last thing I would do to these players is quit on them because I know they’re not going to quit on me.

The Redskins are 0-5, but it’s fair to wonder whether this is truly the fault of Gruden. The Redskins were not necessarily built to win in 2019 and the club’s constant discord is clearly holding the franchise back.

Callahan, 63, is a highly-respected figure in the NFL. Sometime during or after the Redskins’ press conference at 1pm ET, we’ll learn whether Callahan will garner consideration for the permanent post.

Callahan took over for Jon Gruden as the Raiders head coach in 2002 and held the post through 2003, before he was fired. After going 4-12 as Oakland’s head coach in ’03, he served as Nebraska’s HC for four years.

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Latest on Dwayne Haskins, Redskins’ Coaching Staff

There was some chatter Saturday suggesting that Redskins head coach Jay Gruden could be coaching for his job against the Giants this afternoon, but Dianna Russini of ESPN.com reports that no Washington coaches were informed by team execs or ownership that they will be fired if they lose against New York today (Twitter link). That may or may not mean anything, but since Gruden’s seat gets hotter by the day, these types of reports are worth monitoring.

However, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports confirms that the relationship between the coaching staff and the front office, headed by team president Bruce Allen, has become untenable. And differences in opinion over roster construction are just the beginning. Per La Canfora, the organization wants Gruden to part ways with defensive coordinator Greg Manusky, but Gruden refuses to consider any changes to his staff.

But it seems inevitable that Gruden, at least, will be looking for a new job in 2020. Manusky will likely be gone too, but La Canfora says team brass is high on first-year OC Kevin O’Connell, so he may stick around. If Gruden were to fired be mid-season, offensive line coach Bill Callahan may serve as the team’s interim HC. Gruden, meanwhile, may join his brother Jon’s staff with the Raiders.

As we have been hearing, another source of contention between the Redskins’ coaching staff and front office/ownership is rookie QB Dwayne Haskins. La Canfora writes in a separate piece that many members of the coaching staff — including Gruden — and people close to Haskins believe that it would be best for the Ohio State product to redshirt his entire rookie year, especially given the state of Washington’s O-line and the club’s general dearth of offensive talent. But owner Dan Snyder may be inclined to throw Haskins into the fire sooner rather than later, while Gruden views playing Haskins as a last resort. Although Gruden’s fate with the Redskins is likely sealed, the disagreement between him and Snyder over Haskins may hasten his departure.

As for today, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that Case Keenum will get the start, and Haskins will be his backup. Colt McCoy, who recently returned to practice, will be inactive, though the Redskins did consider dressing all three signal-callers. Despite Gruden’s reservations about playing Haskins, Rapoport hears that if Keenum should struggle against the Giants’ defense, Gruden may feel compelled to send in his rookie signal-caller (video link).

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Staff Notes: Fins, Falcons, Pats, Redskins

Brian FloresDolphins staff continues to fill out. The Miami-bound Patriots assistant plans to hire Jaguars defensive line coach Marion Hobby and Giants outside linebackers coach Rob Leonard, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Hobby’s past two NFL seasons in Jacksonville came after a decade at the college level, with the 52-year-old assistant’s previous coaching work coming at the college level. He was Clemson’s co-defensive coordinator and defensive ends coach for six seasons, coaching Vic Beasley, Shaq Lawson and Andre Branch in that time. Hobby was also the Saints’ defensive ends coach during Sean Payton‘s first two seasons. Leonard spent the past six seasons with the Giants, working with three head coaches. This was his lone coaching post at the NFL or college level. He worked with new Miami DC Patrick Graham for two of those years.

Here is the latest from the coaching ranks:

  • Dante Scarnecchia retired from the NFL after the 2013 season, but when the Patriots‘ 2015 campaign ended with the Broncos hitting Tom Brady more than 20 times, New England lured its longtime offensive line coach back to the sideline. Scarnecchia has now been back for three seasons and intends to make that at least four, with ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss noting he plans to coach in 2019. Aided by the 70-year-old assistant’s guidance, the Patriots’ offensive front nullified the Chiefs’ formidable pass rush for most of the AFC championship game.
  • The Redskins may be looking for a new defensive line coach. Jim Tomsula‘s contract has expired, Bruce Allen said (via NBC Sports Washington’s J.P. Finlay, on Twitter). The former 49ers head coach landed in Washington in 2017. It’s possible the sides could work out another contract, with Tomsula having aided the development of Jonathan Allen and Matt Ioannidis (combined 15 sacks).
  • Washington, though, is expected bring back offensive line coach Bill Callahan next season, Allen said. He is under contract for 2019. Bill’s son, Brian Callahan, recently landed the Bengals’ OC gig, and the Bengals were interested in pairing up the father-son tandem. Bill Callahan has coached Washington’s offensive linemen since 2015, the last two years overseeing a position group ransacked by injuries.
  • After two seasons on Dan Quinn‘s Falcons staff, Charlie Jackson will move to the college ranks to become a head coach. Jackson will take over at Division II Kentucky State, D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes. Jackson served as Atlanta’s defensive backs coach but had previously coached with the Broncos and Packers and worked as a Seahawks scout. He was not fired when the Falcons made sweeping staff changes, but the team now has a staff vacancy.