Jack Del Rio

2024 Offensive/Defensive Coordinator Search Tracker

The offensive and defensive coordinator carousels are in winding down. Here is how the OC and DC searches look:

Updated 2-14-24 (5:50pm CT)

Offensive Coordinators

Atlanta Falcons (Out: Dave Ragone)

Buffalo Bills (Out: Ken Dorsey)

  • Joe Brady, interim offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach (Bills): Hired
  • Thad Lewis, quarterbacks coach (Buccaneers): Interviewed

Carolina Panthers (Out: Thomas Brown)

  • Marcus Brady, senior offensive assistant (Eagles): Interview requested
  • Brad Idzik, wide receivers coach (Buccaneers): Hired

Chicago Bears (Out: Luke Getsy)

Cincinnati Bengals (Out: Brian Callahan)

  • Andy Dickerson, offensive line coach (Seahawks): To interview
  • Dan Pitcher, quarterbacks coach (Bengals): Promoted

Cleveland Browns (Out: Alex Van Pelt)

Las Vegas Raiders (Out: Mick Lombardi)

Los Angeles Chargers (Out: Kellen Moore)

New England Patriots (Out: Bill O’Brien)

New Orleans Saints (Out: Pete Carmichael)

Philadelphia Eagles (Out: Brian Johnson)

  • Jerrod Johnson, quarterbacks coach (Texans): Interviewed
  • Kliff Kingsbury, senior offensive analyst (USC): Interviewed 1/23
  • Kellen Moore, offensive coordinator (Chargers): Hired

Pittsburgh Steelers (Out: Matt Canada)

Seattle Seahawks (Out: Shane Waldron)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Out: Dave Canales)

Tennessee Titans (Out: Tim Kelly)

  • Nick Holz, passing game coordinator (Jaguars): Hired
  • Thad Lewis, quarterbacks coach (Buccaneers): Interviewed
  • Eric Studesville, associate head coach/running backs coach (Dolphins): Interview requested

Washington Commanders (Out: Eric Bieniemy)

  • Chip Kelly, former head coach (Eagles/49ers): On team’s radar
  • Kliff Kingsbury, senior offensive analyst (USC): Hired

Defensive Coordinators

Atlanta Falcons (Out: Ryan Nielsen)

Baltimore Ravens (Out: Mike Macdonald)

  • Zach Orr, inside linebackers coach (Ravens): Promoted

Buffalo Bills

  • Bobby Babich, linebackers coach (Bills): Promoted
  • Mike Caldwell, former defensive coordinator (Jaguars): Interviewed
  • Sean Desai, former defensive coordinator (Eagles): To interview

Chicago Bears (Out: Alan Williams)

  • Joe Barry, former defensive coordinator (Packers): To interview 1/27
  • Chris Harris, secondary coach (Titans): To interview
  • Eric Washington, assistant head coach/defensive line coach (Bills): Hired
  • Terrell Williams, assistant head coach/defensive line coach (Titans): To interview

Dallas Cowboys (Out: Dan Quinn)

Green Bay Packers (Out: Joe Barry)

Jacksonville Jaguars (Out: Mike Caldwell)

Los Angeles Chargers (Out: Derrick Ansley)

  • Jesse Minter, defensive coordinator (Michigan): Hired

Los Angeles Rams (Out: Raheem Morris)

Miami Dolphins (Out: Vic Fangio)

New England Patriots

  • DeMarcus Covington, defensive line coach (Patriots): Promoted
  • Michael Hodges, linebackers coach (Saints): To interview
  • Tem Lukabu, outside linebackers coach (Panthers): To interview
  • Christian Parker, defensive backs coach (Broncos): Interviewed

New York Giants (Out: Don Martindale)

Philadelphia Eagles (Out: Sean Desai)

  • Mike Caldwell, former defensive coordinator (Jaguars): Interviewed
  • Vic Fangio, former defensive coordinator (Dolphins): Hired
  • Ron Rivera, former head coach (Commanders): Interviewed 1/22

San Francisco 49ers (Out: Steve Wilks)

Seattle Seahawks (Out: Clint Hurtt)

Tennessee Titans (Out: Shane Bowen)

  • Brandon Lynch, cornerbacks coach (Browns): Interviewed 1/30
  • Dennard Wilson, defensive backs coach (Ravens): Hired

Washington Commanders (Out: Jack Del Rio)

  • Joe Cullen, defensive line coach (Chiefs): Considered a candidate
  • Joe Whitt, defensive backs coach (Cowboys): Hired

Ron Rivera, Jack Del Rio Wanted Commanders To Retain Montez Sweat

As the Commanders completed what looked on the surface to be a reluctant sell-off at the trade deadline, Ron Rivera said all parties were onboard with the trades of Montez Sweat and Chase Young. A virtual meeting with new owner Josh Harris appears to have provided the final push for the Commanders to trade their defensive ends, though other factors were part of the equation.

It looks like the Washington coaching staff was readier to trade Young than Sweat. Rivera, DC Jack Del Rio and others wanted to make it past the deadline with Sweat still on the roster, according to ESPN.com’s John Keim and Jeremy Fowler. But two second-round offers came in for the contract-year edge rusher — from the Bears and Falcons — leading the team to complete the first of its two deadline-day deals.

Following the Commanders’ Week 8 loss to the Eagles, calls came in on the DEs and other players, per Fowler and Keim. While the Commanders had done legwork on trades involving Sweat and Young for more than a week going into the deadline, it was not known until hours before the Oct. 31 trade endpoint how Harris felt.

The Dan Snyder successor expressed an openness to trade the defensive ends and acquire draft capital, and while Fowler and Keim do not describe the meeting as Harris mandating both be traded, the owner leaning in that direction looks to have provided the biggest difference in Washington making the surprising call to trade both Sweat and Young. Both players were gone hours after the meeting.

Young’s propensity to freelance within Del Rio’s scheme looks to have made the Commanders more amenable to trading the former No. 2 overall pick, and the team dropped its asking price to move on. It took only a third-round compensatory pick for the 49ers to acquire the 2020 Defensive Rookie of the Year. Sweat had been more consistent, but with the Commanders expecting both players to cost near-top-market money, they decided to cut bait. As should be expected, the extensions given to Jonathan Allen (in 2021) and Daron Payne (in March) played a role, along with the defensive line’s early-season struggles, in the Commanders determining they would not be in position to extend Sweat or Young.

Rivera wanting to keep his top sack artist in the fold makes sense, as he entered this season on a hot seat. The fourth-year Washington HC had hoped to retain enough pieces to salvage this season, a sentiment some in the front office shared as well; losing Sweat, who has since signed a high-end Bears extension, did not help matters. The 2019 first-round pick is closing in on his first double-digit sack season, collecting 6.5 of his nine QB drops in Washington. Without Sweat and Young, the Commanders are close to starting over at defensive end.

While Washington had regressed on defense even with its two walk-year sack artists, the team has cratered on that side of the ball without them. The Commanders have allowed back-to-back 45-point games, the second coming after Rivera — after a morning conversation with Harris — fired Del Rio and defensive backs coach Brent Vieselmeyer.

Harris and Rivera have retained a solid relationship, per ESPN, but the writing has been on the wall for the well-liked sideline bastion for a while. The Commanders are also more likely than not to clean house in the front office, with ex-Panthers execs Marty Hurney and Eric Stokes joining GM Martin Mayhew as staffers in play to follow Rivera in being ousted. It is unknown what type of coach and leadership structure Harris will prefer in 2024, but he effectively asked a lame-duck staff to trade draft capital it most likely will not be in position to use come April.

Rivera, 61, is on track to be fired by a new owner for a second time. David Tepper canned the former NFC champion HC during the 2019 season, the Panthers owner’s second on the job. This has been Mayhew’s second crack at a GM job. The former Washington Super Bowl-winning cornerback, who is 58, served as Lions GM from 2008-15.

NFC East Notes: Eagles, Leonard, Cowboys, Giants, Commanders, Del Rio

Shaquille Leonard‘s free agency decision brought additional intrigue due to its NFC East-only nature, and Jerry Jones said during an interview with 105.3 The Fan (h/t The Athletic’s Jon Machota) the chase did not come down to money. The Colts still owe Leonard $6.1MM guaranteed for the rest of this year. The sixth-year linebacker will collect $416K in prorated base salary from the Eagles, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. That checks in above the veteran minimum, and Yates adds the Eagles included a $100K incentive and $17K per game in roster bonuses.

Leonard played 2 1/2 seasons on a five-year, $98.5MM accord — one that topped the ILB market until the Ravens’ Roquan Smith deal earlier this year — but saw two 2022 back surgeries impact his career. Visiting both the Cowboys and Eagles (ahead of the NFC East powers’ rematch Sunday), Leonard said (via AllPhly.com’s Zach Berman) his bond with Nick Sirianni played a key role in the Eagles choice. Sirianni was the Colts’ OC from 2018-20, Leonard’s first three NFL seasons (all of which resulted in All-Pro honors). He will attempt to recapture that form ahead of another free agency run in 2024.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

Commanders Fire DC Jack Del Rio

The Commanders have not yet fired their head coach, and plans do not appear in place for that to happen during the season. But the team is moving on from one of its coordinators. After a one-sided Thanksgiving loss in Dallas, Washington will fire DC Jack Del Rio, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports.

A former Jaguars and Raiders head coach, Del Rio had been with Washington throughout Ron Rivera‘s four-year tenure. But the veteran HC/assistant’s defense has struggled this season. Following the Cowboys’ 45-10 romp, the Commanders will make a significant change. Rivera will now call the Commanders’ defensive plays, per the Washington Post’s Nicki Jhabvala. The Commanders have since announced Del Rio’s ouster.

In addition to the Del Rio move, the Commanders are also firing defensive backs coach Brent Vieselmeyer, NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero tweets. Like Del Rio, Vieselmeyer had been on Washington’s defensive staff since 2020. He served as a Raiders assistant during Del Rio’s three-year Oakland tenure. Cristian Garcia will take over as Washington’s DBs coach, Jhabvala adds, with safeties coach Richard Rodgers assisting Rivera with game-planning.

Although Commanders ownership playing the lead role in the team trading top defensive ends Montez Sweat and Chase Young has factored into the team’s defensive unraveling, Del Rio’s unit was not thriving before the deadline deals. The Commanders allowed at least 33 points five times between Weeks 2-8, with both Young and Sweat being in the lineup in each of those contests. Following the Cowboys’ demolition, the Commanders rank last in points allowed, 29th in total defense and 30th in defensive DVOA.

Del Rio received this opportunity after not coaching for two years. The Raiders fired Del Rio following his third season, despite the team going 12-4 a year prior, to give Jon Gruden a 10-year contract. The 60-year-old coach did not have an NFL gig during the 2018 and ’19 seasons. His Washington tenure produced a mixed bag. The team ranked fourth in points allowed in 2020 and seventh in this area last season, though the 2021 campaign produced a 25th-place result. While this Commanders edition saw its edge-rushing muscle stripped away, ownership will sign off on Rivera making an in-season change.

Giving Rivera a green light to make these moves would point to ownership being committed to the veteran HC through season’s end. Rivera appears a likely chopping-block candidate in January, but Del Rio served as one of the Commanders’ interim HC options in the event Josh Harris axed Rivera during the season. OC Eric Bieniemy resides as an interim option as well, but the team would not have much in the way of defensive leadership in the wake of Friday morning’s dismissals. This appears likely to end with Rivera and potentially Bieniemy being gone as well, as Harris remodels the organization he recently acquired, but the fourth-year HC remains in place for now. A Harris statement indicates Rivera recommended the changes.

In the Rivera-Del Rio partnership’s first season, Washington won the NFC East — albeit with a 7-9 record — after forming a stacked defensive line by drafting Young second overall. Young paired with former first-rounders Sweat, Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne and Ryan Kerrigan to form a strong pass rush. This unit helped cover for a QB situation that featured a struggling Dwayne Haskins and a limited Alex Smith, and Washington accounted itself well in a close wild-card loss to Tampa Bay. But the team is headed toward a fourth straight .500-or-worse season under Rivera. Del Rio’s role in that will cost him his job early.

The Del Rio-Rivera defense fared well despite Young barely playing in 2022, with the unit also withstanding the free agency miss on William Jackson, whom the team benched early last season and sent to the Steelers for a low-end return. This year brought a regression on most fronts, even with Young returning to full strength following his November 2021 knee injury. High-powered offenses like the Bills and Eagles ran out to 30-plus points against the Commanders, but the Bears and Broncos also combined for 73 points during the season’s first half. Although a six-turnover effort hamstrung the Commanders in the Giants rematch, Del Rio’s unit allowed rookie UDFA Tommy DeVito to throw three touchdown passes in New York’s two-score Week 11 win (as a two-score underdog).

A former linebacker, Del Rio has been an NFL staffer since 1997. Vieselmeyer has only served as an NFL coach under Del Rio. Primarily vacillating between the high school level and a Del Rio assistant (with a few college seasons mixed in), Vieselmeyer was on the Raiders’ staff throughout Del Rio’s three-year tenure. Washington hired him as its assistant secondary coach in 2020. Following Chris Harris‘ defection to the Titans this offseason, Vieselmeyer moved up to DBs coach. The Commanders exit Week 12 having allowed an NFL-most 49 pass plays of at least 20 yards, per ESPN.com’s John Keim. Washington has not intercepted a pass in six games.

This Date In Transactions History: Raiders Fire Jack Del Rio

Four years ago today, the Raiders fired head coach Jack Del Rio. The decision came shortly after a lopsided loss to the Chargers in the season finale, capping the Raiders’ season at 6-10.

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[Raiders owner] Mark Davis told me he loved me and appreciated all that I did to get this program going to right direction,” said Del Rio. “But, [he also] that he felt he needed a change.”

Davis hired Del Rio in 2015 and saw the team improve from 3-13 to 7-9. That Raiders team didn’t necessarily set the world on fire, but they were at least in the playoff hunt, up until a Week 15 loss to the Packers. In 2016, it appeared that the Raiders were on the right track. With Del Rio at the helm and Derek Carr under center, the Raiders finished 12-4 to earn their first playoff spot since 2002.

Unfortunately, Carr didn’t make it to the postseason after suffering a broken fibula in Week 16. Then, when Matt McGloin suffered a shoulder injury the following week, rookie Connor Cook was thrust into action. Oakland’s long-awaited playoff appearance ended abruptly with a loss to the Texans. Had Carr been on the field, it’s possible that things could have gone differently for the Raiders and JDR.

So, after a cumulative 25-23 record, the Raiders dismissed Del Rio and immediately set their sights on Jon Gruden. Del Rio, meanwhile, spent the next few years away from football, up until 2020 when he became Washington’s defensive coordinator.

When Del Rio crossed paths with his old team a few weeks back, he had an opportunity to mend fences with Carr. Previously, Del Rio had some unflattering things to say about Carr’s ability to perform in cold weather. Fortunately, with 2021 drawing to a close, they were able to bury the hatchet.

I talked to him afterward,” Carr said. “We had a good talk, obviously I wish it was better for me, but we just expressed our love for one another and how thankful we were for the times that we had.”

NFC East Rumors: Rivera, Sanders, Cowboys

Ron Rivera announced last week he is battling lymph node cancer. The new Washington HC will attempt to coach the team through his treatment process, though Jack Del Rio is in place as the emergency fill-in. Rivera will undergo a mixture of chemotherapy and proton therapy, and John Keim of ESPN.com notes the veteran coach’s treatment schedule will feature five per week over a seven-week period. Upon hiring Del Rio, Rivera prioritized having someone with head coaching experience on his staff — which he did not have in Carolina. Del Rio served as an acting head coach for part of the 2013 season, leading the Broncos while John Fox recovered from heart surgery.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • Gerald McCoy‘s Cowboys tenure may not be over. Despite the organization taking advantage of the injury protection it included in the Pro Bowl defensive tackle’s contract, and releasing him months after he signed the three-year deal, McCoy would like to play for the Cowboys in 2021, Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News tweets. The 10-year veteran indicated he will help the younger defensive linemen still on this year’s Cowboys roster, Ed Werder of ESPN.com adds (via Twitter). McCoy underwent successful quadriceps surgery last week, per Watkins.
  • A key component in the fantasy drafts taking place worldwide this week, Miles Sanders is currently not practicing with the Eagles. And the team has been vague as to why. Philadelphia’s starting running back is dealing with a “lower-body injury,” according to the team. However, the second-year back is expected to be ready to play by Week 1, Tim McManus of ESPN.com notes. Having lost Jordan Howard in free agency and seeing the Seahawks sign one of their UFA targets, Carlos Hyde, the Eagles are set to rely on Sanders more than they did last season. The Eagles were also interested in Devonta Freeman, and while the ex-Falcons Pro Bowler remains available, the team is going with Boston Scott and Corey Clement as its backup backs at this point.
  • Graham Gano‘s Giants deal is worth up to $2.5MM, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The Giants guaranteed their new kicker $1MM. This is more money than the team gave Chandler Catanzaro, whose Giants stay lasted barely three weeks. Gano has 10 years’ experience, though he missed all of last season with a knee injury.

Washington’s Ron Rivera Diagnosed With Lymph Node Cancer

Ron Rivera has been diagnosed with lymph node cancer (Twitter link via Adam Schefter of ESPN.com). The Washington Football Team head coach says the cancer is in its early stages and regarded as “very treatable and curable.” 

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I was stunned. But I was angry because I feel like I’m in best health I’ve been in,” Rivera said.

The 58-year-old broke the news to his team earlier tonight with a bit of his trademark humor. “I’m going to be a little more cranky,” the coach warned. “So don’t piss me off.” Rivera plans to conduct business as usual, though he tells Schefter that there is a “Plan B” in place, in case he has to take some time away from the team.

As Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets, that “Plan B” would be having defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio — who has 12 years of head coaching experience between the Jaguars and Raiders — assume HC duties. But RapSheet confirms that the plan is for Rivera to coach uninterrupted through the 2020 campaign.

Rivera, a former Bears linebacker, climbed his way up the ranks before taking over the Panthers’ head coach in 2011. The Panthers never captured the Lombardi Trophy with Rivera, but he did get them to Super Bowl 50 at the end of the 2015 season, and he earned Coach of the Year honors that year. Including playoffs, Carolina went 79-67-1 with Rivera at the helm. The Panthers parted ways with Rivera in December, leading him to Washington just a few weeks later.

We here at PFR would like to wish Rivera a speedy recovery.

Redskins Rumors: Snyder, Rivera, Kerrigan

Although since-fired team president Bruce Allen took most of the heat for the Redskins’ personnel decisions during the 2010s, Dan Snyder has continued to play a role in the franchise’s football operations. Allen was also believed to be on the side of drafting Dwayne Haskins, but John Keim and Jason Reid of ESPN.com write Snyder appeared to lead that charge — even though the owner once criticized for his big-ticket moves has contributed less input on that front in recent years. Some in Washington’s building placed a third-round grade on Haskins, per Keim and Reid. Haskins was viewed as a first-round pick for most of the pre-draft process. While Ron Rivera is expected to have more control over Redskins personnel matters than Jay Gruden, sources informed the ESPN duo they still expect Snyder to be involved.

Here is the latest out of Washington:

  • New defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio confirmed the Redskins will shift back to a 4-3 base defense, Les Carpenter of the Washington Post notes. Both Rivera and Del Rio have used 4-3 bases for most of their respective careers, so this should come as no surprise. However, Snyder is believed to have made this a point of emphasis, per Keim and Reid. The Redskins have not deployed a 4-3 base defense in 11 seasons, though with teams’ increased nickel usage, transitions in front-seven schemes are not as significant as they once were. This will make Washington’s starting lineup interesting, however, with the team having three talented interior defenders — Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne and 2019 sack leader Matt Ioannidis — up front.
  • Ryan Kerrigan just completed a down year, registering a career-low 5.5 sacks and missing the first two games of his career. The productive Redskins edge defender is going into a contract year, but Keim tweets Kerrigan and previous Redskins management had engaged in extension talks in 2019. Kerrigan, 31, would like to stay with Washington on a third contract.
  • Rather than retirement, Alex Smith will continue his efforts to return to the field. The Redskins quarterback has missed the past 22 games because of a gruesome leg injury that required numerous surgeries. “I still have dreams of getting back to where I was and getting back out there,” Smith said, via NBC Sports Washington’s Ethan Cadeaux. “This has been a crazy ride with a lot of unforeseen turns, but without a doubt, that’s still my goal.” Smith, 35, is set to count $21.4MM against Washington’s cap this season. No cap savings can come of a Smith release until 2021.

Redskins To Hire Jack Del Rio

Ron Rivera‘s staff is already starting to take shape. On Wednesday, the Redskins agreed to hire Jack Del Rio as their defensive coordinator (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter). 

Del Rio, 56, was either a head coach or defensive coordinator in every NFL season from 2002-17. However, he’s been out of coaching since the end of the 2017 season, when he was canned as the Raiders’ head coach.

JDR’s Raiders posted a 12-4 record in 2016 en route to their first playoff berth in 14 years, but that campaign was sandwiched by two losing seasons. All in all, he went 25-23 as the Raiders’ HC and his defenses were spotty at best.

Before all of that, he was responsible for the Broncos’ defense from 2012-2014, a run that included two top 5 finishes. He also served as the Jaguars’ head coach for nine years. Del Rio took the Jaguars to the playoffs twice, including a 2007 season in which they toppled the Steelers in the playoffs before running into the Patriots in the divisional round.

JDR will have his work cut out for him in D.C. Last year, the Redskins finished 27th in points allowed and yards. On the plus side, they have lots young talent and some cap room to work with as they retool the defense.

Redskins Hire Ron Rivera As HC

The Redskins didn’t let him get away. Washington will hire former Panthers HC Ron Rivera as its next head coach and will give him a five-year contract, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). The hire will be announced tomorrow.

Washington fired former head coach Jay Gruden in October, which allowed owner Dan Snyder to get a jump on the hiring process. That may have been crucial, because when Rivera was let go by Carolina earlier this month, he immediately became one of the most qualified coaching candidates on the market, and he would have had other suitors, like the division-rival Cowboys and Giants. But Snyder, who perhaps realized that his silver tuna acquisition of Mike Tomlin was never going to happen, acted quickly to bring Rivera to Washington and keep him there.

Rivera, who played linebacker for the Bears from 1984-92 and who was a part of Chicago’s Super Bowl XX victory, became the team’s quality control coach in 1997. He paid his dues and moved up the coaching ranks, ultimately becoming the Bears’ defensive coordinator in 2004. But it was his stint as the Chargers’ defensive coordinator from 2008-10 that solidified him as one of the best defensive minds in the game, and he parlayed that status into a head coaching gig with the Panthers in 2011.

The Panthers never captured the Lombardi Trophy with Rivera, but he did get them to Super Bowl 50 at the end of the 2015 season, and he earned Coach of the Year honors that year. Including playoffs, Carolina went 79-67-1 with Rivera at the helm.

Although Redskins QB Dwayne Haskins may never be Cam Newton, Rivera obviously feels comfortable enough with the Ohio State product to accept the Washington job. Indeed, many believed it would be difficult for the Redskins to attract a top HC candidate, so it’s a good sign for Washington fans that Rivera apparently believes in the direction the team is heading. And now that Bruce Allen is out of the building and Rivera is in, perhaps the team can bring in a top exec as well (though Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports tweets that the team may not complete its front office changes until after the draft).

As far as Rivera’s staff is concerned, there has been speculation linking his former defensive coordinator in Carolina, Steve Wilks, to the same job in Washington. Though Wilks is currently under contract with the Browns — and therefore in limbo — John Keim of ESPN.com says he will not be coming to Washington (Twitter link). Indeed, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets that Rivera is targeting former Jaguars and Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio as his defensive coordinator, which could make for a very strong staff in the nation’s capital. Schefter says Del Rio is the leading candidate for the job.

Joe Person of The Athletic says (via Twitter) that Eric Washington and Sam Mills III could be other names to watch for the DC job, and La Canfora says Rivera is likely to retain offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell.

The hire has been well-received, and given the way Snyder handled the Rivera hire and the Allen dismissal, perhaps Redskins fans can feel a bit of optimism heading into the new year.