The Redskins finally did what fans have been calling for all season: Washington fired veteran head coach Jay Gruden on Monday morning. After getting spanked by the Patriots on Sunday, and seeing their record fall to 0-5, the writing was on the wall.
Offensive line coach Bill Callahan will step in as the interim head coach, but he's not the long-term answer for GM Bruce Allen and Co. Who is? In this piece, we take a look at five potential replacements for Gruden.
5. Lincoln Riley
Though this might seem like a long shot, Riley will be mentioned for every single head coaching job that opens up moving forward. He's a young, stud coach in the college ranks and he's done wonders to the Oklahoma offense. It helps having Jalen Hurts run the show, but still, Riley has been sensational at the helm. After Kliff Kingsbury made the move from Texas Tech to Arizona, more and more coaches from college figure to get more NFL looks. Would Riley consider packing his bags in Norman for our nation's capital? You never know.
4. Eric Bieniemy
When you're part of the Andy Reid coaching tree, you're usually going to get some head coaching looks. Just ask Doug Pederson and Matt Nagy about that. Well, the time could be coming for current Kansas City offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. The KC assistant has taken Patrick Mahomes under his wing and made the team's offense downright explosive. The era of Alex Smith checkdowns sure are a thing of the past. Washington would be wise to pick up the phone ASAP to gauge Bieniemy's interest.
3. Mike Pettine
This wouldn't be Pettine's first time as the head man in charge. He was head coach of the Browns from 2014-15, but was fired after his second season when the team went 3-13. However, you can't deny the remarkable job he's done turning around the Packers defense already. This team is stout on his side of the ball, with in-game adjustments being showcased each week this year. Shutting down Dak Prescott in the first half of Sunday's win was exhibit A of the job he's done. In total, the Packers picked off Prescott three times on Sunday.
2. Kevin O'Connell
While this may not be the sexy hire fans are hoping for, it could turn out to be a smart one. Kevin O'Connell is in his third season with the organization and first as the team's offensive coordinator. He knows the system and team quite well, and he'll get consideration for the job per multiple reports. If you're Washington, would you really want to let another young coordinator leave town? At one time, Sean McVay, Matt LaFleur and Kyle Shanahan were all on the coaching staff in Washington. Those three are all now head coaches, with a combined 10-3 record this season.
1. Robert Saleh
Someone is eventually going to give Robert Saleh his first head coaching opportunity. Why not Washington? Despite being just 40 years old, Saleh's resume is quite impressive. He's been an assistant for the Redskins, Jaguars, Seahawks and Texans in the NFL, while also joining the sidelines at Michigan State, Central Michigan and Georgia. With him serving as defensive coordinator currently for the 49ers, San Francisco is a perfect 3-0 and at the top of the NFC West standings.