What's New: Running Backs Coach
Actually, Stump Mitchell's official title is assistant head coach-running backs. Zorn, who worked with Mitchell on the Seattle Seahawks' staff, wanted Mitchell to join him with the Redskins, but the Seahawks initially denied permission for the Redskins to interview Mitchell.
Washington gave Mitchell a higher title than he had in Seattle, enabling Mitchell to take a major role on Zorn's first Redskins staff. Mitchell has had significant input in devising running plays and, along with new offensive coordinator Smith, helped teach Zorn's West Coast scheme to the coaching staff and players.
Mitchell accepted the position without interviewing in person in part because he has ties to the area. Mitchell, the Seahawks' running backs coach since 1999, coached at Morgan State in Baltimore from 1996 to '98.
Mitchell played his entire nine-year career with the St. Louis-Phoenix Cardinals. He rushed for 4,649 yards on 986 carries (a 4.7-yard average), with 32 touchdowns. In 1985, Mitchell ran for a career-high 1,006 yards on 183 carries (a league-best 5.5-yard average). Since joining the Seahawks, Mitchell has developed a reputation of being an outstanding teacher.
Seattle Coach Holmgren gave Mitchell input in designing short-yardage plays. Because of Mitchell's familiarity with the West Coast offense, Zorn leaned on him to help the staff and players during the beginning of the installation process. Mitchell quickly developed a good rapport with top back Clinton Portis and productive reserve Ladell Betts.
-- Jason Reid