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Yet Another Coach Named: Chris Foerster

Posted by Matt Terl on January 21, 2010 – 4:36 pm

The Redskins today named Joe Bugel’s successor as offensive line coach, hiring Chris Foerster (pronounced FUR-ster). Foerster spent the last two years in San Francisco, where they were high enough on him to initially block the move D.C., according to the Sacramento Bee.

In fact, Singletary said today that he initially denied the Redskins’ request to interview Foerster. Forester’s family, however, is still in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. area from the time that Foerster coached with the Ravens. When Foerster asked for the chance to return to the east coast, Singletary said he couldn’t deny it. “For me, family is important,” Singletary said. “I could not not do that — give him a chance to be closer to his family.”

Which was sort of a relief for me to hear, at least: whenever a guy is hired away from another team without an obvious promotion, I tend to find myself wondering in the back of my head why they let him go. In this case, at least, it seems it wasn’t without a struggle.

Full press release — including more statistics on Foerster’s career — after the jump. Read more »

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Two More Coaches Announced: Jacob Burney and Bob Slowik

Posted by Matt Terl on January 21, 2010 – 3:00 pm

The 2010 Redskins coaching staff is almost completely assembled, as the team today named Bob Slowik to the position of defensive backs coach, and Jacob Burney to the position of defensive line coach. Both of these appointments have been rumored for several days now.

I ran into Fred Smoot today and asked him if he had heard anything about Slowik, his new position coach. He grinned his Fred Smoot grin and said, “Yeah, Champ thinks he’s terrific. Champ loves him, man.” Smoot has made no secret of the fact that former Redskins (and current Broncos) cornerback Champ Bailey is one of his close friends and mentors, so this is a recommendation that carries some weight with Smoot.

And it’s not like it was a secret that Bailey quietly passed to Smoot. Here’s a snippet from a January 2008 Rocky Mountain News article about Slowik’s promotion to Broncos defensive coordinator:

Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey, an eight-time Pro Bowl selection, has called Slowik “the best coach I’ve ever had.”

It’s not just Bailey, either. Here’s another.

“The one thing as defensive backs coach ‘Slo’ did was listen to his players,” Broncos cornerback Dre Bly said. “Because if the players aren’t comfortable with the defense or are having some problems or don’t necessarily fit into some of the things you’re doing on defense, you have to listen to your players.

“And I know ‘Slo’ – if it was something as a defensive secondary we didn’t feel comfortable doing, he’d tweak some things that allowed us to be comfortable. I really think ‘Slo’ will do a good job because he’s definitely a guy that will coach you up.”

Burney isn’t as famous of a name as Slowik, but he also seems to be well-regarded by his players and (especially) by Broncos fans. Both Hogs Haven and The Om Field came across the same Mile High Report profile on Broncos defensive coaches that’s fairly complimentary of Burney’s work, as epitomized by paragraphs like this:

I really like Burney’s combination of specialization and experience. This is one coach who does his own thing, and it is ALL he does. I am impressed with some of the talent he has developed, including Martin Rucker, Pryce, and now DOOM, and I like the idea of him working with our young DEs going forward, and feel like he will be able to get the most out of them.

So that all sounds pretty good.

(Slowik doesn’t fare as well in that post, but the criticism is largely directed at his work as a defensive coordinator, not as a defensive backs coach.)

The Redskins media relations staff put together a staggeringly long press release on these two; it would be a pity to have all that biographical information go to waste, so it’s posted for your edification after the jump.

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Thursday, January 21: A Different Feel To The Offseason

Posted by Matt Terl on January 21, 2010 – 11:47 am

It can’t come as a surprise to anyone that there’s a different feeling around Redskins Park this offseason.

There are a lot of reasons for it, some of them obvious (an almost entirely new coaching staff and a new general manager are going to create a slightly different feeling) and some of them less so. I have a suspicion that I’ll be spending a lot of this offseason trying to pinpoint some of these less obvious differences.

One of them became eminently clear on Friday night, at the Pigskin Club‘s 72nd Annual Awards Dinner in D.C.

“The Pigskin Club,” Brig Owens explained, “has a very rich history.”

The former defensive back, named one of the 70 Greatest Redskins on the occasion of the team’s 70th Anniversary, should know — he was a two-term president of the club. (That’s him on the far right of the picture on top of this post.)

“It was originally started to honor those African-American players who weren’t normally honored back in the thirties, forties, fifties and sixties,” he said, “so there’s a rich tradition. And it’s also a community. You’re able to bring players in from around the country regardless of what color they are; it’s all about democracy in sports.”

Friday’s event was, according to the club’s description, “a celebration to acknowledge the accomplishments of our young people and community leaders who serve as role models.” I was there mainly because Brian Orakpo was slated to receive the John W. Posey Award for his rookie season, and I thought it might provide an excuse to ask him a couple of dumb questions.

“Brian Orakpo came in as a rookie and made an impact right away,” Owens said, explaining the meaning of the award. “The Pigskin Club took note of that and said we’ve gotta honor the young man and introduce him to the community here in Washington D.C. I think he’s gonna have a great career here, and the Pigskin Club recognized that right off the bat.”

Orakpo wasn’t able to attend because of a prior commitment, but Owens was there. As was Bobby Mitchell, another of the 70 Greatest Redskins, and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. (Mitchell is second from the right in the photo.)

Oh, and new General Manager Bruce Allen. He was there, too. (He’s second from the left.)

It wasn’t the first Pigskin Club event for any of those three.
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