The Redskins announced on Monday that they have named Robb Akey defensive line coach, filling the position held the past five seasons by Jacob Burney, whom the team dismissed two weeks ago.
Akey served as assistant defensive line coach for the Minnesota Vikings last season, and prior to that coached in the college ranks for 25 years.
Akey held the position of head coach at the University of Idaho from 2007-2012. Akey’s teams during those six seasons posted a 20-54 record and experienced only one winning season (an 8-5 campaign in 2009). Prior to that, Akey spent eight seasons at Washington State, coaching the defensive line from 1999-2002, and then taking over as defensive coordinator from 2003-2006.
While working with the Vikings, Akey helped coach a defensive line that accounted for 24 of the team’s 45 sacks. Minnesota ran a 4-3 defensive front, however, and the Redskins plan to stick with the 3-4 defense. While with the Vikings, Akey coached under head coach Mike Zimmer, who is a good friend and former co-worker of Jay Gruden. Akey also has ties to new Redskins defensive coordinator Joe Barry, having coached alongside him for three seasons at Northern Arizona from 1996-98.
Washington hired Barry as defensive coordinator two weeks ago, and shortly after dismissed Burney and outside linebackers coach Brian Baker. Secondary coach Raheem Morris left the next week to accept the position of assistant head coach with the Atlanta Falcons, and Washington hired former Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell to replace Morris.
Inside linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti is the lone returning assistant defensive coach.
Akey inherits a defensive line that features a number of aging, highly-paid players, including defensive ends Jason Hatcher and Stephen Bowen and nose tackle Barry Cofield, who are all over the age of 30. Hatcher, who missed the final three games of the season with injury, will count for $5.2 million against the cap. Cofield, who missed eight games with injury, pushes $7.7 million against the cap, and Bowen, who appeared in only eight games after working his way back from knee surgery, accounts for $8 million.
Meanwhile, Jarvis Jenkins, who started at right defensive end but struggled with consistency in the pass-rushing department, will be a free agent.
Upgrading the defensive line ranks among the Redskins’ offseason priorities.