ASHBURN, Va. -- There were some well-publicized candidates
the last time Dan Snyder went looking for a coach. Jim Fassel,
Dennis Green and Ray Rhodes all were interviewed, with Fassel
getting more than 12 hours of face time with the owner over three
different sessions in what the Washington Redskins claimed were
merely preliminary talks.
The end result? None got the job. Snyder stunned the football
world by bringing Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs out of retirement.
Gibbs, of course, didn't need to be interviewed -- just persuaded.
Four years later, Snyder is once again taking a meticulous
approach as he seeks a successor to Gibbs, who resigned last week.
The choice this time could be another surprise -- because the
owner's full list of names is still a well-kept secret.
What is known is that former Atlanta Falcons coach Jim Mora
interviewed for the job on Wednesday, and that Indianapolis Colts
defensive coordinator Ron Meeks is scheduled to speak with Snyder
Another Indianapolis assistant, Jim Caldwell, is on Snyder's
list, but Caldwell might keep the Redskins on hold until Colts head
coach Tony Dungy decides whether to return for another season.
Caldwell would be a leading candidate to succeed Dungy if Dungy
Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz and at least
one other candidate -- whose name has not been released -- met with
Snyder last week. There could other names to surface over the next
few days, possibly pushing the process into next week. All of the
formal interviews have taken place at Snyder's house, well away
from the reporters who have staked out Redskins Park.
Then there's Gregg Williams, who has the title of Redskins
"assistant head coach -- defense" and carries home-interview
advantage. Players and other assistants have voiced support for
Williams, the former Buffalo Bills head coach whose defenses have
ranked in the top 10 in three of his four seasons in Washington.
Williams has met with Snyder four times about the job, but that
is largely a byproduct of logistics. Coaches who travel from out of
town are granted longer interviews, while Williams' sessions have
been shorter and not all have been in what would be considered a
formal interview setting.
While Williams is a strong candidate, the first week of the
coaching search indicates that he did not enter the competition as
the slam-dunk favorite -- and that it could be a while before the
big news conference that unveils the new coach.
Especially if 12 hours of interviews are still considered
Meanwhile, the players who trickle in and out of Redskins Park
are watching and waiting and putting in a good word or two for
"Gregg would be an excellent choice," said middle linebacker
London Fletcher, who also played for Williams in Buffalo. "I know
how he is as a head coach, as a coach and as a person. He brings a