Bill Callahan brings passion to Redskins
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) Bill Callahan coached the Oakland Raiders to the Super Bowl after the 2002 season.
Last season as Dallas won the NFC East for the first time in five years, Callahan was the coordinator and line coach for the NFL's second-ranked run offense.
But as his 59th birthday nears, Callahan is starting over again as the line coach of the Washington Redskins, who have finished in the NFC East cellar for six of the past seven seasons.
''I just felt it was a great fit,'' said Callahan, citing team president Bruce Allen, running backs coach Randy Jordan, and tight ends coach Wes Phillips plus quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh, who was hired shortly after he was. ''I felt really comfortable and very confident that I could contribute something to the organization.''
Callahan, a self-described ''old school ball coach'' is the Redskins' oldest coach. But when all of the other position groups are done, Callahan is still on the field working with his linemen.
''I have a passion for this game, what it stands for, what it gives to a person and what they learn from it,'' Callahan said. ''I look forward to practice every day. There's nothing like it. ... The minutiae and technique in the line is insane. You could work on it forever.''
Which is how Callahan's linemen might feel some days.
''He demands a lot from those guys, both on the field and off the field,'' coach Jay Gruden said. ''They meet a lot. They practice hard. Their routine is pretty strenuous. Being a player for coach Callahan is a demanding thing, but at the end of the day, he's going to get the best results out of you.''
When Callahan was getting started in coaching at Illinois in the early 1980s, he visited the Redskins' training camp in Carlisle, Pa., and watched line coach Joe Bugel work with the ''Hogs'', the group that was pivotal in Washington's three Super Bowl victories from 1982-91.
So when Callahan took over the job that Bugel held from 1981-89 and from 2004-09, he immediately hung a photo on his office wall of the Hogs smacking around the rival Cowboys.
''I've always admired what Joe Bugel has done,'' Callahan said. ''We're trying to carry on that tradition and trying to live up to the standards that they've established.''
In hopes of reaching those standards, Callahan has changed two of his five starters with Spencer Long, who played little as a rookie in 2014, and Brandon Scherff, this year's fifth overall draft pick, replacing right guard Chris Chester, who was released, and right tackle Tom Compton, who was benched.
Notes: Quarterback Robert Griffin III was as upbeat at the end of offseason workouts as he had been since 2012, his rookie year. ''We're all feeling better about what we're doing in the second year in the offense,'' said Griffin, who was recovering from knee surgery in 2013 and adjusting to Gruden's offense in 2014. ''We've had great practices. Some people like to call this the grind, but we call it the find because you figure out what you got and we think we've got some good stuff.''
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