Is Marvin Moving On?

Edwards and Lewis: the new and the old at Redskins Park?<BR>It's almost official: the Redskins will have their fifth defensive coordinator in five years with Marvin Lewis almost definitely heading to Cincinnati.

The Bengals would have preferred Tom Coughlin, we've been told, but Coughlin has no desire to jump into just any situation. Which is why he made certain demands that Cincinnati is unlikely to meet, such as the size of the scouting department.

If the situation isn't perfect, why should Coughlin take it? But Lewis is in a big hurry to land a head coaching job and likely would overlook some internal flaws in the Bengals' job.

But we do wonder how he'll get along with Mike Brown when it comes to making decisions. Lewis is highly confident and has a firm belief in how an organization should be run. That's why he sometimes chafed at the way Steve Spurrier did things this past year in Washington. They had compelely opposite styles, which could have led to problems in a second season (and still could lead to some if Lewis somehow fails to get the job; remember, everyone thought Tampa Bay was a slam dunk for him last year).

That leaves us with Lewis' likely replacement: George Edwards.

Who is he? And how will he do?

Both are hard questions to answer. But we do know he has the players' backing and it's not just based on what they say publicly. Most players will say good things when talking to the media regardless of what they honestly feel. However, off the record players, including LaVar Arrington, have maintained their belief in Edwards, which is telling.

They like that how he teaches them and they like his demeanor. Edwards is different from Lewis, more low-key. Lewis had no problems getting on any player and could be sarcastic when doing so. He'd bark orders during practice and stride confidently around the field. Edwards, who was the assistant defensive coordinator this past season, was much different.

''You don't notice George, but he's solid and he's very smart,'' one Redskins employee said. ''I hope he has enough clout to stand his ground, but I get the impression he can do that. Hey, working for Jerry Jones was no picnic.''

Edwards coached the Dallas linebackers for four seasons. Despite losing players during this time, the Cowboys linebackers remained a strength, thanks in part to Edwards. He played for Spurrier at Duke and coached with him for two seasons at Florida.

He's only coached one year in Washington, but the players say he's ready for the coordinator's job. He provides continuity. Even if he tweaks the system, that's OK--at least they won't have to spend half a season learning a completely new defense. Won't that be refreshing?

One problem the players have had is learning what to expect from a coach. That process can take months. But if, as expected, Edwards takes over, they'll already know. And look at the defense: the best leaders are at linebacker. Others will take their cue from this group, making the transition much smoother.

We don't know yet what kind of game he'll call, but it's more important that the players believe in what the coach is selling. And it appears the players have that trust in Edwards. For now.

''George is very detail-oriented,'' the Redskins employee said. ''He won't blow up a lot, but he has a quiet intensity. He's very focused, has a good relationship with his guys. LaVar wouldn't say a guy could coach if he didn't think so.''




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