Blache In, Williams Out

The Redskins wanted continuity. They're not going to have it now, with Al Saunders and Gregg Williams both departing. However, they will have more than it seemed they would have just a few days ago.

At one point, Greg Blache was contemplating retirement and did not seem interested in becoming the defensive coordinator (in more than just title). But Blache is very popular with the defensive linemen and has been a coordinator in the past. The players seem to be happy that at least someone they know will be in charge.

And, based on Danny Smith's comment on the press sheet, it appears he'll stick around as the special teams coach - at least for another year. He has a connection to new offensive coordinator Jim Zorn.

"I worked with Jim [Zorn] in Detroit and I'm thrilled to be able to work with him again,'' Smith said. ''He is an outstanding coach with respect from everyone throughout the league."

Smith is popular and would be an advocate for keeping certain players based on his knowledge.

Zorn's hiring, made official today, is yet another change for Jason Campbell and having to learn a new offense. In talking to one player today, they were upbeat about Zorn, having heard good things about him. But the thought of starting over for the players is exhausting and morale is rather low. Can't say that one player has a lot of faith in Snyder/Cerrato to make the right choice. It's doubtful any player has respect for Cerrato.

The big question is what does this mean for the head coaching search? At this point, it's rather hard to read into the moves and know exactly where they're going. But signs would point to someone they've already interviewed, either Jim Fassel or Ron Meeks. It's hard to imagine Steve Spagnuolo, without having talked to the team yet, wanting to enter a situation where most of his staff is already picked. Sad thing is, Spagnuolo might be the strongest candidate for the position.

The coach who accepts this situation likely is one who simply wants any head coaching job, viewing it as a last chance. Fassel and Meeks both would fit into that category.

As for Williams, the players were not happy about his ouster. They absolutely wanted him and they craved the stability he would provide. But Williams was not going to get along with Snyder/Cerrato. He's stubborn about his opinions and beliefs and isn't good at massaging the ego of others. He doesn't coach his players that way and he doesn't work that way with those in charge. Right or wrong, had he stayed it would have made for a poisonous atmosphere at Redskins Park. It would be easy to see the front office turning on him if the team was struggling.

Saunders never had a chance. Not when you consider that the front office was saying bad things about him shortly into his first season. Joe Gibbs could shield both of his top men from the front office when he was here, but once he left, that shield went down. It cost them their jobs. What it costs the Redskins will be learned starting next season.


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