Ranking Redskins Top 5 Defensive Coordinator Prospects

WASHINGTON — The Redskins are still going through the search for a new defensive coordinator, a process that could continue into next week as they prepare for the Senior Bowl.

There are now seven viable candidates after Dennis Thurman interviewed at Redskins Park on Friday. Wade Phillips never visited before taking the job with the Los Angeles Rams and Steve Wilks was promoted by Carolina before interviewing. There are likely other names that were considered, but never made it to Ashburn for various reasons.

With all due respect to Thurman and Rob Ryan, we’ll assume those coaches from the Rex Ryan tree rank back on this list. Of the top five remaining candidates, here are the positives and negatives associated with each:

Gus Bradley

Mike Pettine
Positives: Good experience as a coordinator with Jets and Bills and has the results to back it up. Arguably the best numbers on this list aside from Bradley. Aggressive. Runs a hybrid 3-4.
Negatives: Struggled as a head coach in Cleveland. Can get overly complicated and that might not work right off the bat in Washington with this personnel.

Greg Manusky
Positives: Knows the personnel after one year on staff and has long ties to GM Scot McCloughan. Has experience as a coordinator in San Francisco, San Diego and Indianapolis. Brings good energy to the position with an edge.
Negatives: Never had top-tier defenses in previous stops. Coaching style can be abrasive.

Jason Tarver
Positives: Smart defensive mind also with ties to GM Scot McCloughan. Ran the show in Oakland for three years and improved that group in first season. Can teach a hybrid 3-4 or 4-3 scheme depending on what direction Washington wants to go.
Negatives: Teams weren’t very good defensively in his second and third seasons and Tarver didn’t seem to adjust well to his roster.

John Pagano
Positives: Finally promoted to coordinator in 2012 and his Chargers defenses finished in the top 10 in yards allowed per game twice. Last season they were sixth in takeaways (28).
Negatives: His years in San Diego also included two seasons ranked 20th or lower so it was boom or bust there.

 Follow Redskins reporter Brian McNally on Twitter.
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