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WP: Gibbs May Add Linebackers Coach

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Gibbs May Add Linebackers Coach

Redskins Talking With Former Chargers Assistant

By Nunyo Demasio

Washington Post Staff Writer

Thursday, January 22, 2004; Page D03

MOBILE, Ala., Jan. 21 -- The Washington Redskins are talking to former San Diego Chargers defensive coordinator Dale Lindsey about joining Coach Joe Gibbs's staff as linebackers coach, sources said Wednesday.

The Chargers fired Lindsey, 61, on Jan. 3 with about a month left on his contract after the team allowed the second-most points in the NFL and had the league's worst red zone defense during a 4-12 season. Lindsey served as linebackers coach for the Chicago Bears before Chargers Coach Marty Schottenheimer hired him away in 2002.

Gibbs wanted to announce a full staff by Thursday, when he and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams are tentatively scheduled to address the media, but the hiring process has been slowed by league rules that prevent coaches currently under contract from talking with other teams without permission from their employer.

After Gibbs named -- Williams, former Buffalo Bills head coach -- his defensive coordinator, the Redskins looked to Buffalo's Don Blackmon to join Williams as linebackers coach, but the Bills blocked attempts to interview him. This week, new Bills coach Mike Mularkey announced that Blackmon would remain in Buffalo.

Whoever gets the linebackers job may inherit a talented group: the threesome of Jessie Armstead, LaVar Arrington and Jeremiah Trotter. Arrington made the Pro Bowl this season, and Armstead and Jeremiah Trotter -- former Pro Bowlers -- had solid seasons as well. But the unit was hampered by missed assignments, and some NFL sources say Armstead or Trotter will be cut before next season.

The Redskins have added two new coaches -- running backs coach Earnest Byner and defensive backs coach DeWayne Walker -- giving Gibbs 12 assistants. Byner, a director of player development for the Baltimore Ravens since 1998, has no full-time coaching experience, but he did assist Baltimore running backs coach Matt Simon.

According to Redskins sources, former cornerback Darrell Green appeared at Redskins Park recently to discuss joining Gibbs's staff in some capacity. Green is not expected to take a full-time role.

The search has been conducted so surreptitiously that even new hires aren't sure of their future colleagues. Although Byner looked like a Redskins coach this week, donning burgundy and gold gear, he declined to confirm his status.

"There's nothing official," Byner said. "We're trying to hammer out this deal."

Gibbs's offensive staff is all but complete, with an opening for a wide receivers coach. Sources said the Redskins are strongly considering college coaches for the position, including the University of Florida's Duane Dixon and LSU's Stan Hixon. (Steve Spurrier Jr. was interested in returning, but the Redskins are expected to hire someone else.) The team also needs a defensive line coach.

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