WASHINGTON — The Redskins are still searching for their next defensive coordinator, and things have taken a turn for the, well, not great.
They started in the pool of top available coordinators, such as Wade Phillips and Gus Bradley. Phillips was hired by former Redskins offensive coordinator Sean McVay to be the defensive coordinator of the Los Angeles Rams, and Bradley remains uncommitted to a team as of Wednesday morning. Washington is still in the running for Bradley, but there are several others who have interviewed for the position.
Among those the Redskins have interviewed are current outside linebackers coach Greg Manusky, Rob Ryan, former Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine and Bradley. In addition, the team is rumored to be interested in former San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula.
Tomsula, perhaps best known for his painfully awkward introductory press conference, went 5-11 in his one season as head coach and was generally considered not a great coach. He was elevated to the head coaching job from his previous role as the San Francisco defensive line coach.
Ryan has rarely headed a strong defense. Of his 12 seasons as defensive coordinator, split between the Oakland Raiders, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, and New Orleans Saints, only one has finished in the top 10 in points and two have finished in the top 10 in yards. He’s had a defense rank 20th or worse eight times in points and yards.
Pettine has a much stronger record, having coached top-10 defenses by yards four times, by points three times. During his final season with the Browns, in 2015, Pettine’s defense was 27th in yards and 29th in points, but that roster was largely devoid of talent on both sides of the ball.
On Tuesday, Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier discussed the team’s search for a defensive coordinator, but it ultimately evolved into a laundry list of reasons why it would be a bad idea to hire either Ryan or Tomsula.
The full segment is available below, but here is a recap of some of the duo’s best lines on the two candidates.
(On Tomsula) “I understand that because you’re a terrible head coach does not mean you’re a bad D-line coach. I would immediately feel worse about the defensive staff.”
“We have gotten to a point where the search is — we’re in Clownville, basically. We are with the guys who are the butts of jokes.”
“Rob Ryan as a coordinator would annoy me and I think would be a terrible hiring.”
(On Tomsula) “Just that public boobery of him just muttering through everything he was going through would make me less comfortable with the Redskins defensive staff.”
“I thought I couldn’t go beyond rock bottom, where nobody wants this gig … I thought we couldn’t get any worse. The fact that we’re now in the Rob Ryan, Jim Tomsula marketplace makes me feel worse.”
“Bottom line is this: Rob Ryan, no thank you. No thank you. Jim Tomsula, no thank you. Please don’t just punt the progress that we’ve made as a Redskins organization.”
(On Ryan) “I think it’s an atrocious hiring. It’s the ultimate retread of name over actual production.”
The rest of the conversation wasn’t much more positive. Suffice to say, Grant and Danny wouldn’t be thrilled to have Ryan or Tomsula running the defense, though there’s slightly more interest in having the latter coaching the defensive line. Still, the duo would prefer both of those men to stay away from Washington.