The Washington Redskins lost out on their top choice for a defensive coordinator when Gus Bradley agreed to terms with the Los Angeles Chargers on Friday night.
Bradley, fired as the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars late in the 2016 regular season, interviewed with Washington on Jan. 11. He was regarded both by the Redskins and others around the league as the top defensive coordinator candidate available.
Bradley had strong ties to members of the Redskins’ organization, having coached Seattle’s defense while Scot McCloughan worked in the Seahawks’ front office. Before that, Bradley coached with Jay Gruden as an assistant in Tampa Bay. Redskins team president Bruce Allen was the Buccaneers’ general manager at the time.
However, it appeared unlikely that the Redskins would succeed at luring Bradley. He remained in high demand and was also courted by the San Francisco 49ers.
The Redskins have interviewed six other candidates, including former Cleveland coach Mike Pettine, former Buffalo defensive assistants Rob Ryan and Dennis Thurman, former San Diego defensive coordinator John Pagano, San Francisco linebackers coach Jason Tarver and Washington’s own outside linebackers coach, Greg Manusky.
The Redskins had interest in Wade Phillips, but he chose the L.A. Rams before even interviewing with Washington. The team also requested an interview with Carolina defensive backs coach Steve Wilks, but he was promoted to be the Panthers’ defensive coordinator shortly thereafter. In addition, Washington requested permission to interview Houston defensive assistants Mike Vrabel and Romeo Crennel, but the Texans denied that request and gave both promotions instead.
Several players and others around the league have said they wouldn’t be surprised to see Manusky — because of his relationships established since joining the organization last offseason — land the position if Washington failed in its quest for Bradley.
Manusky served as defensive coordinator in San Francisco when McCloughan was general manager there roughly 10 years ago.
Washington needs a defensive coordinator after firing Joe Barry earlier this month after the unit ranked 28th in the league in each of the past two seasons.
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