Todd Washington – Baltimore Ravens Assistant Offensive Line Coach
In the hours following Studrawa's firing, Washington's name was the one sources said to keep the closest eye on. Washington doesn't have a long coaching resume, but he did spend the last three seasons as an assistant offensive line coach with the Baltimore Ravens, two of which corresponded with Cam Cameron's time there. In that short time, Washington developed a strong relationship with Cameron, and the LSU coordinator has a lot of respect for this up-and-coming name on the coaching circuit.
The Ravens have sent four offensive linemen to the pro bowl under Washington's watch (Ben Grubbs in 2011 and Marshall Yanda in each of the last three seasons). The feeling is that LSU wants an OL coach that can sell recruits on getting to the NFL, something Studrawa just coulnd't provide. Washington can certainly boast that he knows what NFL teams want as he also spent eight seasons as an NFL lineman.
One knock against him though is his relative lack of inexperience with the college game. After his NFL career ended, Washington joined the staff at the University of San Diego as the OL coach and eventually became the team's offensive coordinator in 2009. But that doesn't necessarily prepare him for the rigors of recruiting in the SEC, and that is one area he's lacking compared to the other candidates. That being said, Washington does have the NFL pedigree that LSU is reportedly searching for, and his connections to Cameron could be something that sets him apart from the rest.
Moeller was the first name to pop up as a possible candidate based on timing and his connections to Miles and Cameron. Moeller spent five seasons with Cameron on the Ravens' offensive staff, and his dad Gary shared time on the staff at Michigan with both Miles and Cameron. Shortly before Studrawa's firing was announced, the Ravens announced that Moeller would not be retained as the offensive line coach, getting passed over for Juan Castillo.
That leaves Moeller looking for work, as RavensInsider.com's Aaron Wilson reports, "there's no place for Moeller in Baltimore anymore." On paper, Moeller certainly fits the mold of what LSU's looking for. He has NFL experience and also spent 2000-07 as a coach at Michigan, where he helped develop eventual No. 1 overall draft pick Jake Long. But Moeller comes with some baggage that Miles and Co. may not want to invite in to the program.
Moeller served two days in 2011 of a suspended 60-day jail sentence after his third alcohol-related arrest in four years. He was also suspended for two games by the NFL as a result of the incident. Though Moeller's record's been clean since, that kind of history wouldn't play well on the recruiting trail, and Moeller may be better off sticking in the NFL. He was a candidate for the Atlanta Falcons OL opening, which eventually went to Mike Tice, and it's been reported that at least two other franchises are going after him.
If LSU doesn't take its coach from the NFL ranks, an established collegiate assistant would be the next best thing. Searels is one of the hotter offensive line coaches available and has been the college name most consistently linked to the LSU opening. Searels spent 2003-06 at LSU before spending the last seven seasons at Georgia and Texas. Searels does have familiarity with the LSU program, which could certainly come into play. He also recruited guys like Herman Johnson, Ciron Black and Brett Helms, who all turned into key contributors along the offensive line in their LSU careers.
According to people on the Texas side, Searels was one of the top assistants on Mack Brown's staff. He was considered a very active recruiter and started bringing in a more athletic style offensive linemen to the Longhorns' program. Most in Austin feel the players he recruited could serve as a solid foundation for Charlie Strong, who is still open to retaining Searels but the feeling is that he'll go in a different direction.
That would leave Searels looking for work, and he was most recently tied to the opening at Florida. It's been reported though that Searels turned down the opportunity because of the instability with that program, and LSU would certainly provide a more secure position. If LSU wants a proven recruiter, Searels best fits the mold. One knock against him though is that he hasn't created NFL linemen. The Longhorns didn't put any offensive linemen in the draft during Searels' time there, though there are some young players that he recruited that some feel may have NFL potential.
While Searels doesn't have the NFL pedigree that Moeller or Washington has, Searels is a respected name on the recruiting trail, which would be a major plus compared to Studrawa.
Sale's the most recent addition to the candidate list after CoachingSearch.com reported Wednesday night that he will interview for the LSU opening. Sale is an up-and-coming name on the coaching trail and has garnered a lot of respect from people that have worked with him in the past.
Sale's a Monroe native and Neville alumnus, so he has familiarity with what's been the most controversial region of the state when it comes to LSU recruiting. He was also a three-year starter for the Tigers so he does have those connections to the program. Sale just completed his second season at McNeese where he helped lead the Cowboys to a FCS playoff appearance.
Before that Sale spent five years in Alabama as a member of Nick Saban's staff, serving primarily as a weight room assistant and video analyst. That's an interesting pedigree, but the lack of experience likely sets him behind these other candidates. Sale would provide someone that can go into Monroe and recruit, but the gap between McNeese and LSU may be too large for Miles to pull the trigger on this promising assistant.
The ongoing search for a new OL coach at LSU is a fluid situation. Make sure you stick with TSD for continuous updates on who the Tigers are targeting to replace Greg Studrawa. Follow all the action on the TSD Message Board by clicking the link below.