Dan Henning, who has been coaching the Miami Dolphins' passing game, will join the Redskins as new Coach Joe Gibbs' chief offensive assistant. The announcement of Henning's hiring probably will come this week. He most likely will be named offensive coordinator, according to league sources.
Gibbs, hired last Monday to replace Jack Pardee, now has filled his two major staff positions. Earlier, Richie Petitbon, secondary coach under Pardee, was promoted to defensive coordinator.
Although Gibbs will spend most of his time with the offense, Henning is expected to have major input into weekly game plans. He probably will be in the scouting booth each game, relaying information to Gibbs through headsets.
Henning, 38, has been with the Dolphins two years. This season, he coached the quarterbacks and receivers in addition to formulating the Dolphins' weekly passing attack. He is credited with helping develop David Woodley, the rookie quarterback who replaced veteran Bob Griese midway through the season.
Henning was considered a candidate to become head coach in New Orleans, a job now expected to go to Bum Phillips.
Henning has been coaching for 12 years, six in the National Football League. He began coaching in 1968 at Flordia State, then went to Virginia Tech and, in the professional ranks, Houston (1972), New York Jets (1976-78) and Miami.
He was a quarterback at William and Mary and ranked 14th nationally as a passer his senior season. He was with the San Diego Chargers in 1966 and later played with the Norfolk Neptunes of the Continental League.
The Redskins reportedly also will hire Don Breaux, Arkansas offensive coordinator, to coach their running backs. Breaux is a former standout small-college quarterback.
Joe Bugel, Houston offensive line under Phillips, has been offered a similar position with the Redskins. There is a possibility, however, that he will follow Phillips to New Orleans, should Phillips be hired by the Saints.
Gibbs can hire up to nine assistants. He hopes to have most of them hired by the end of this month.