Redskins coaching search: First-round NFL playoff results will determine status of several candidates

The results of this weekend’s first-round NFL playoff games will determine the status of several prospective head coaching candidates for the Washington Redskins.

At least five assistant coaches on teams playing this weekend — offensive coordinators Ken Whisenhunt of San Diego, Greg Roman of San Francisco and Jay Gruden of Cincinnati, plus Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer and offensive assistant Hue Jackson — are believed by people within the league to be potential candidates for the Redskins.

All are involved in games being played Sunday. The Chargers play at Cincinnati and the 49ers play at Green Bay.

Any assistant whose team is eliminated from the playoffs is eligible to be interviewed for a head coaching job immediately and, potentially, hired.

Under league rules, assistants on teams that win first-round playoff games this weekend can be interviewed for head coaching jobs next week. Such interviews must take place in the city in which the assistant works and the assistant’s current team has input as to when the interview takes place. Those assistants are not eligible to be interviewed a second time by the same team until their current team is eliminated from the playoffs or until a second-interview window opens later in the postseason. They cannot be hired by a team for a head coaching job with their current team still in the playoffs.

All are thought to be potentially attractive candidates to the Redskins. Whisenhunt is a former Redskins player who has NFL head coaching experience with the Arizona Cardinals. Roman has worked with young quarterback Colin Kaepernick and incorporated college-style elements into the San Francisco offense just as the Redskins did for Robert Griffin III.

Gruden and Zimmer are well regarded within league circles and are considered by many to be future head coaches. Jackson is a one-time Redskins offensive coordinator who has been a head coach with the Oakland Raiders. The Fritz Pollard Alliance, which works closely with the NFL to promote diversity in hiring, recommended to the Redskins that they interview Jackson and Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell. Caldwell interviewed with the Detroit Lions on Friday and is scheduled to interview next week with the Redskins, according to the Fritz Pollard Alliance.

The Redskins are scheduled to interview Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott on Saturday in Charlotte. They previously interviewed Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and Dallas Cowboys special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia. The Redskins also have received permission to interview New York Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell and were said as of Friday to be still in the process of arranging a meeting with him.

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