Following a disheartening Week 17 loss to the New York Giants that kept them from the playoffs, we had to figure that sweeping changes would be coming the Washington Redskins’ way.
Though, most of that seemingly had to do with personnel on the offensive side of the ball. Kirk Cousins, DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon are all slated to become free agents.
Well, the Redskins and head coach Jay Gruden threw an entire wrench into this idea on Thursday. According to CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora, Gruden is firing the team’s entire defensive coaching staff.
Skins coach Jay Gruden is parting with his entire defensive staff I'm told. Starting over on that side of the ball
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) January 5, 2017
The least surprising development here is the firing of defensive coordinator Joe Barry. He oversaw a unit that finished in the bottom 10 in every major statistical category.
Though, to move on from the entire staff has to be seen as Gruden deciding to start anew on defense. He had hand-picked many of the individuals he let go on Thursday, including defensive backs coach Perry Fewell and outside linebackers coach Greg Manusky, both former defensive coordinators in their own right.
It will be interesting to see if the Redskins go away from the 3-4 base defense that has defined them over the past several seasons. Either way, these are surprising and sweeping changes right here.