Washington Interviews Line Coach
Brooks Knows Defensive Coordinator Blache

By Jason La Canfora and Jason Reid
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Washington Redskins interviewed longtime NFL assistant Larry Brooks for their vacant defensive line coaching position yesterday, with league sources expecting him to be hired this week. Brooks spent the day at Redskins Park with his longtime associate Greg Blache, who was promoted from defensive line coach to defensive coordinator Saturday.

Brooks, 57, is well versed in the technique and terminology that Blache uses. Both are part of the Mike Holmgren branch of the West Coast coaching tree. Both also have ties to former NFL coach Steve Mariucci. Blache and Brooks were part of the same staff in Green Bay and when Blache was defensive coordinator in Chicago in 2003, Brooks was his defensive line coach.

Brooks, a native of Prince George, Va., played for Virginia State and was a star defensive tackle in the NFL. He made the Pro Bowl with the Los Angeles Rams for five straight years (1976-1980). Brooks coached Arizona's defensive line in 2006, but was let go when Dennis Green was fired as head coach. The Redskins could complete a deal with Brooks shortly as they try to assemble a staff in the aftermath of Joe Gibbs's sudden retirement three weeks ago. Former Giants coach Jim Fassel is a leading candidate to replace Gibbs, but the team will not decide until after the Super Bowl.

"That's Blache's right-hand man," one NFL source said of Brooks. "There's a lot of trust there. If he's in there today [at Redskins Park], then I'm telling you that's Blache's guy" for the job.

Snyder Met With USC Coach

Owner Dan Snyder met with University of Southern California Coach Pete Carroll earlier this month about the Redskins' head coaching vacancy, but the sides did not pursue a deal, said a league source familiar with Washington's coaching search.

Carroll was among the high-profile candidates Snyder considered for the position after Joe Gibbs resigned as team president and coach Jan. 8, the source said. Carroll also spoke with the Atlanta Falcons about the opening that recently went to former Jacksonville defensive coordinator Mike Smith and the Miami Dolphins met with Carroll after last season. . . .

The Redskins still plan to interview Indianapolis Colts assistant coach Ron Meeks today, league sources said. The team may interview candidates, possibly the New York Giants' Steve Spagnuolo or the New England Patriots' Josh McDaniels, after the Super Bowl. Patriots Coach Bill Belichick was asked yesterday about the Patriots granting permission for their assistants to interview for other jobs and replied, "We'll comply with league rules."

Williams Has Job Interviews

Gregg Williams, released after four years as Washington's assistant head coach-defense, will interview today for Jacksonville's vacant defensive coordinator position, league sources said. Tennessee, St. Louis and other clubs have also contacted Williams. . . . Most of the Redskins' assistants had one year left on their contracts and have signed extensions, sources said, with only a couple still mulling the extension offer. . . . Don Breaux and Jack Burns, offensive assistants under Joe Gibbs, could emerge with new titles that are more in a consulting vein. . . .

Running backs coach Earnest Byner, whose contract expires Thursday, was offered only a one-year deal, league sources said, and is scheduled to interview with Tampa Bay today. The new coaching hierarchy, with two coordinators at the top, is a more traditional model than it was under Gibbs. . . . New offensive coordinator Jim Zorn is expected to work closely with Jason Campbell, which likely means the end of Bill Lazor's tenure as quarterbacks coach. . . . Former Redskins quarterback Doug Williams will participate in the presentation of the Lombardi Trophy after Super Bowl XLII, the NFL announced. Williams was the MVP of Super Bowl XXII.

Staff writer Mark Maske contributed to this report from Phoenix.

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