Redskins assistant will interview with Lions

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

Washington Redskins secondary coach Jerry Gray has been given permission to talk to the Detroit Lions about their head-coaching vacancy, according to the Washington Post. Gray was defensive coordinator in Buffalo for five years before joining Washington in 2006. I used to watch him play at the University of Texas before he went onto a nine-year playing career with the Rams, Oilers and Bucs.

He was a shining star in the coaching community when he took over the Bills defense and he actually had some solid seasons before the Mike Mularkey-led team went 5-11 in 2005 while Kelly Holcomb and J.P. Losman were splitting time at quarterback. Gray had linebackers Takeo Spikes and London Fletcher on that team. And Nate Clements was the star cornerback. He's coached the Redskins' excellent safeties the past three seasons and I thought he did a really nice job of integrating DeAngelo Hall into the secondary midway through the 2008 season.

Gray's interview will allow the Lions to satisfy the Rooney Rule, but hopefully it will be about more than that. Gray's succeeded in some tough situations, and the way he held the secondary together in the aftermath of Sean Taylor's death in 2007 was pretty remarkable. For a while, he could barely speak when he'd show game film that included Taylor. A really, really solid guy and coach.