Joe Barry has his Hands Full with Redskins Defense


The Washington Redskins have hired Joe Barry to replace Jim Haslett as the team’s defensive coordinator, according to The Washington Post.

Barry replaces Haslett, who ran Washington’s defense from 2010-14, and led his unit to underwhelming numbers, to say the least.

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Although head coach Jay Gruden and veteran safety Ryan Clark both endorsed Haslett as a defensive coordinator and said they wanted him back, upper management decided otherwise and cut ties with him.

And after failing to lure in former San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio to serve as the same title in D.C. (Fangio went to Chicago instead), Dan Snyder, Bruce Allen & Co. went with Joe Barry. Barry has spent the last four seasons as the linebackers coach for the San Diego Chargers.

The move shouldn’t surprise many, as Barry has several ties to the Redskins.

He has previously worked with Gruden when the two were assistants in Tampa Bay. Barry spent seven seasons with the Buccaneers – from 2001-2006 and in 2009 – as the team’s linebackers coach. In 2009, he served under then-head coach and defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, who was the defensive back coach of the Redskins in 2012, thus creating a tie to Snyder and Allen.

Barry only has two seasons under his belt running a complete defensive unit. He served as the defensive coordinator for the Detroit Lions during the 2007 and 2008 seasons, in which he was responsible for a defense that ranked dead last in the NFL in points and yards allowed per game both years.

That statistic alone should worry Redskins fans, but it was obvious that Detroit had a serious lack of talent during those years and, of course, everybody deserves a second chance.

But this second chance as a defensive coordinator won’t be an easy task for Barry.

Barry inherits a unit that gave up the most yards ever by a defense over a five-year span under one defensive coordinator (29,069) and the second-most points during that same span (2,048).

This past season, the Redskins ranked 13th in the league in yards per game by giving up 357 a contest. Washington was also tied for third worst in the league in points per game allowed at 27.4, tying them with the Tennessee Titans.

And while there are certainly numerous holes that Barry, Allen and new General Manager Scot McCloughan will have to fill, there are some pieces in place to build off of.

For one, the combination of Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan is a serious threat to any opposing offense, that is when both are healthy.

The Redskins also saw the development of rookie corner Bashaud Breeland out of Clemson. Breeland’s performance throughout the season was definitely a positive sign for the Redskins in wake of DeAngelo Hall’s Achilles injuries.

Jason Hatcher will also return next season, and despite coming off an injury, he’s proven he can produce and is a leader on the defense.

But with no true depth at any one position defensively, McCloughan and Barry will have to develop young players while also bringing in a number of solid free agent talent.

The Washington Redskins needed a lot of changes on its defense, and signing Barry is the first step. Now whether that step is in the right direction or not remains to be seen.

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