It feels like the Redskins are getting the old gang back together.
Linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti, who worked for five coaches over 11 seasons in Washington, returns following a three-year hiatus. Receivers coach Ike Hilliard is back for new coach Jay Gruden’s staff after one year away. Earnest Byner, who played for Washington from 1989 to 1993 and coached from 2004 to 2007, could return as well.
Maybe Gruden needs people who know where the bodies are buried around Redskins Park, which has been a coaching graveyard since owner Dan Snyder’s 1999 arrival.
What’s next — Vince Lombardi returns to haunt the place?
But the real comeback story of eternity is defensive coordinator Jim Haslett returning. Redskins fans wanted his door keys turned in back in September. Despite being in the 3-4 scheme for the fourth straight season, the Redskins were the NFL’s 30th-ranked scoring defense this year.
Haslett’s return is like a Capitol Hill comeback of a disgraced politician who keeps getting re-elected. If Haslett can return to Washington, maybe Chris Christie’s presidential aspirations are not to be done just yet.
The true backstory at Redskins Park is a Florida Tuskers reunion where Haslett was head coach with Gruden, Sean McVay and Hilliard as assistants in something called the United Football League, which played a handful of games in a handful of cities for a handful of seasons.
How is Gruden going to fire someone who gave him a break? That would take a cold person. But then, there are so many cold people at Redskins Park the team could change its name to the Blizzards.
Other Mike Shanahan-era carryovers — in addition to Haslett and McVay — include Chris Foerster and Raheem Morris.
McVay was promoted from tight ends coach to offensive coordinator. The 27-year-old carries that young progeny status Jason Garrett once adorned with Dallas before he was promoted to head coach and exposed as just another guy with a whistle. The Redskins don’t want to lose a prospective future head coach.
Basically, the Redskins staff is now a combination of Shanahan carryovers and UFL refugees. Well, maybe they’ll have better luck than the last seven crews that sank under Snyder.
Indeed, so many coaches have been through Redskins Park under Snyder that it has become a “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” game — connecting any assistant to the Redskins. Probably three degrees is all you’ll need. It’s natural to think some would return for a second helping. At least they know what they’re entering.
Hopefully, something old will produce something new for the Redskins — winning.