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Published: Sat, January 07, 2017
Sport | By Desiree Waters

Jay Gruden reportedly fires entire Washington defensive staff


He has nine seasons as defensive coordinator with the Indianapolis Colts (2012-15), San Diego Chargers (2011) and San Francisco 49ers (2007-10).

Barry and several assistants were "not retained", the team announced Thursday afternoon.

Such a sweeping move would be jarring, though not stunning considering Washington's struggles on defense. The Redskins ranked 28th in total defense and 19th in points allowed in 2016.

The run defense was a primary issue. The Giants' 29th-ranked rushing offense erupted for 161 yards on 40 carries to eliminate the Redskins from postseason contention.

Following a disheartening Week 17 loss to the New York Giants that kept them from the playoffs, we had to figure that sweeping changes would be coming the Washington Redskins' way.

Akey was an assistant defensive line coach in Minnesota in 2014 before the Redskins hired him a year later.

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Opponents converted 47 percent of their third down conversions against the Redskins, highest in the league.

Although Gruden has always been good at being an offensive coach, his responsibility is still on both sides of the ball, and special teams.

Jerry Brewer of the Washington Post listed Gus Bradley, Mike Pettine, Wade Phillips and Leslie Frazier as potential targets for the defensive coordinator gig.

Current Bengals defensive coordinator Paul Guenther, who served on the same Bengals coaching staff as Jay Gruden, is another external option.

Fewell was sacked Thursday by the Redskins along with defensive coordinator Joe Barry, defensive line coach Robb Akey and strength and conditioning coach Mike Clark.

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