Coaching Search: 10 Reasons Why the Redskins will Hire Art Briles
I’ve mentioned this several times before, but I think the next head coach of the Washington Redskins is going to be Art Briles. Snyder, Allen & co. have several reasons for hiring him, and they will unless some other candidate completely blows them away. Briles is a very hot commodity, and there’s no guarantee that he will accept a Redskins offer, if it happens. Texas has Briles highly targeted as a replacement for Mack Brown. If that happens, Texas can outbid almost anyone if they want Art bad enough.
The key reason why Briles would choose the Redskins over Texas is to cement his legacy as being highly successful at the high school, college and NFL levels. Texas has almost limitless resources, and is the best college coaching vacancy available. That alone could be tempting enough, and Briles could become the richest coach in college football history over the next several years. But for some reason, I don’t think that money alone is enough to sway Briles.
So, here are 10 reasons why I think Briles will land in Washington:
1. Okay, let’s start with the obvious. There’s a strong bond of trust between Robert and Briles, and that goes all the way back to Griffin’s recruitment from high school. Robert was a stellar QB at Copperas Cove, but all of the major universities were looking to convert RGIII to DB, S or WR. Briles was the only coach who saw his potential as a QB and recruited him to Houston. When Briles whent to Baylor, Robert de-committed from Houston and followed Briles. Briles would squeeze the very best out of Robert.
Snyder bet the ranch on Robert, and he doesn’t want his investment squandered. A franchise QB should last for years, and Snyder doesn’t want anything to interferes with his development. This is not about Robert being a prima-donna. Nobody works harder than him to get better. Snyder wants to win with Robert, loves the kid, and will pick the best coach to put him in a position to succeed.
2. Enough about Robert. Since Griffin’s departure at Baylor, Briles and his OC, Philip Montgomery, have groomed 2 successful quarterbacks in Nick Florence and Bryce Petty. These 2 quarterbacks are remarkably different from RGIII, but have managed to eclipse his records at Baylor. Gibbs won three Super Bowls with 3 different quarterbacks. Briles has improved Baylor’s record in 3 consecutive years with 3 different quarterbacks. Let’s face it, as fans, one of our biggest worries is what happens if Robert gets injured. If there’s anyone who can groom and develop quarterbacks, it’s Briles & Philip Montgomery. I believe if Briles is hired, Montgomery will follow.
Baylor currently averages over 600 yards per game, with a 40/60 split of running vs. passing yards. Briles knows how to spot talent and get the most out of people. He commands loyalty from his players by challenging them to become just a little bit better every day. You can either get a little faster, get a little stronger, or get a little smarter. Just do something. Wes Welker remarked that Briles was the best coach he ever had.
3. Back to Snyder/Allen. In Allen’s presser yesterday, he remarked that he was looking for a coach who has “fire in the belly” to return the Redskins to respectability. Briles will meet with Dan & Bruce, and present a plan that will blow them away. His plan will include his team philosophy, his plan for developing Robert, and his plan for defense and special teams. Allen also said “some coaches like the challenge of taking over a last place team.” That statement plays completely into hiring Art Briles. All he has ever done is turn last-place programs into power-house programs.
4. Briles is low-maintenance. He has a history of building successful programs with very limited resources. Shanny demanded everything, and look where that got us. Briles will survey the facilities, survey the team, lay out his plan, and Bruce, Morocco, Campbell & co. will scour the FA and draft to give him the players he needs.
Briles is a realist. In this era of salary caps and parity, he will not overspend for FA talent. Rather, he will challenge the scouting department to find candidates that meet his criteria for the positions he needs. He and his staff will coach them up.
5. The media will scream about the Briles story. They will scream even more if he is paired with Gregg Williams at DC. Reid, Wise, Jenkins, Hamilton and others will have plenty of fodder to spin stories of meddling, favoritism, bountygate , etc. Dan is no stranger to these stories, and will weather the criticism through the off-season.
Once training camp starts, the focus will shift to the new-look Redskins at the OTAs, and in Richmond. And it will be exciting. Players will be flying around the field as fans & media will be intrigued as they watch the up-tempo team moving at high speed and having fun.
6. Speaking of the media, Jason La Canfora has been standing behind a story that Briles is “very interested” in meeting with the Redskins, per his “league sources”. I called him on this piece, to see whether his sources were credible, or if he was just “spit-balling.’ As expected, I got no response, but another writer did respond to me and said JLC’s sources were “highly credible.”
7. Robert seems remarkably calm since his benching. He showed no signs of frustration or fidgeting on the sidelines throughout the past 3 weeks. He looked relaxed and comfortable. Looking at him, I couldn’t help but feel that he has been reassured that he will be extremely pleased with the next coach of the Washington Redskins. It’s almost as if he knows something that he is sworn to secrecy about. He is keeping an arms-length distance from social media and the press. He is remaining very tight-lipped, but looks very relaxed at the same time.
8. The only big knock against Briles is his lack of NFL coaching experience. While that is true, I’m not sure exactly what that means. His body of work is impeccable, and his record speaks for itself. The Redskins have plowed through several coaches with NFL experience, and have racked up a horrible record. The only coach Snyder hired with a winning record was Norv Turner. Spurrier was just a bad hire, who put some Florida retreads under center and thought he could win playing “pitch and catch.”
9. Back when Griffin was being vetted by the Redskins, the entire Redskins front office traveled to Waco, and had the opportunity to visit the program that Briles built. The trip culminated with a celebratory trip on Redskins 1 to the Bahamas. I have a strong feeling that Briles left an indelible impression on Snyder and Allen during that trip.
10. Finally there are several teams interviewing a limited pool of available coaches outside of Briles. The leading candidates talked about are Bill Cowher, Jay Gruden, Bill O’Brien, Lovie Smith, Dave Bevell, Greg Roman, and a few others. In the college ranks, Shaw and Sumlin have repeatedly expressed no interest in leaving their universities.
These are just some of the reasons why I think Briles could be the Redskins next head coach. There will be several other coaches to consider, and there is absolutely no guarantee that Briles will want the job. But he is a hot commodity. Baylor is praying he stays. Texas would have no problem buying out his contract and making him one of the wealthiest coaches in college football. The Texans or the Cowboys could make a push for him to stay in Texas. When it comes to the NFL, I think the Redskins have the inside track.