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Redskins continue to cast wide net in coaching search

The SportsXchange

ASHBURN, Va. -- A little more than a week into their coaching search, Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder and general manager Bruce Allen have interviewed offensive coordinators Darrell Bevell of Seattle and Jim Caldwell of Baltimore, defensive coordinators Perry Fewell of the New York Giants and Sean McDermott of Carolina and special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia of Dallas.

Snyder and Allen have reportedly asked to speak to Cincinnati coordinators Jay Gruden (offense) and Mike Zimmer (defense) as well as Vanderbilt coach James Franklin. San Francisco coordinators Vic Fangio (defense) and Greg Roman (offense) are also apparently on the interview wish list as is San Diego offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, but those meetings can't happen until their teams' seasons are history.

If the 49ers and Chargers keep winning, will Snyder and Allen be patient if Cleveland, Detroit and Minnesota snap up some of the candidates to whom they've spoken?

To Fewell's credit, his defense shut down the Shanahans (Mike and Kyle) offense twice in 2013. Fangio's did so when the teams met in November. McDermott's defense dealt Washington its last regular-season defeat of 2012. Bisaccia's special teams embarrassed Washington's in October. Bevell's offense outscored the Redskins 24-0 over the final three quarters in the wild-card matchup a year ago this week at FedEx Field.

While Whisenhunt coached Arizona to the Super Bowl five seasons ago and Caldwell followed suit with Indianapolis the next year, they are currently coordinators. Current defensive coordinator Jim Haslett's unit kept Whisenhunt's offense under control in Washington's last victory back on Nov. 3 and did the same to Caldwell's in a Redskins triumph in Week 14 of 2012.

Surprisingly, such big-name former coaches as Bill Cowher -- whom Snyder tried to hire in 2008 before winding up with Jim Zorn who had never even coordinated a game and went just 12-20 with Washington in 2008-09 -- and Jon Gruden - who, like Bisaccia, has worked before with Allen - have said that they haven't been contacted by the Redskins (in contrast to the hires of Marty Schottenheimer in 2001, Joe Gibbs in 2004 and Mike Shanahan in 2010, none of whom topped .500 during their tenures).

Snyder also hasn't gone to the well of Super Bowl coaches like Cowher and Jon Gruden. The names of Tony Dungy, Mike Holmgren, Brian Billick and Jim Fassel (a Snyder favorite back during the 2008 hiring process) haven't surfaced during the owner's sixth coaching search in 13 years.

Steve Spurrier's transition from college genius at Florida to NFL laughingstock with Washington for whom he went 12-20 in 2002-03 has apparently tamed much of Snyder's appetite for a coach without any NFL experience as a coach. Franklin did coach Green Bay's receivers in 2005.

The only other time that Snyder engaged in a long and varied coaching search, back in 2008, he talked to former head coaches Carroll, Cowher, Jim Fassel, Steve Mariucci, Jim Mora and Gregg Williams while only considering three coordinators who had never run an NFL team: Ron Meeks, Jim Schwartz and Steve Spagnuolo. Incredibly, the final product of that process was Zorn.
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