Washington Redskins mailbag: Part 2

For Part 2 of the Redskins Mailbag, a Chris Thompson question? Sure, why not. Plus a lot more on defensive coordinators and the front office. Enjoy.

John Keim: It's up to him. They want him to have more of a role, but he has a lot to learn. One play against Philadelphia showed where he's at. A little screen to the right. There was a good opening if he ran with any sort of patience, allowing the blockers to do their jobs. Instead, he shot forward as soon as he touched the ball and was tackled for a short gain. If he had set up the blockers, like DeSean Jackson or Pierre Garcon do, then Thompson would have had an inside lane and probably a 20-yard gain. If Thompson learns to play with more patience he can help. But he has to learn.

Keim: This question sort of incorporates one that many asked. It now looks like there will be an increased role for A.J. Smith, if he wants it (as it sounds like he does). Smith was around a lot more in the final month of the season and if nothing else is a legitimate general manager. Doug Williams was added last offseason so he'll have a say, too. Maybe this will be the right formula.

Keim: I don't know a whole lot about Barry other than his track record and that in both of his two seasons as Detroit's defensive coordinator they were last in both total yards and points per game. His second season is the one in which Detroit went 0-16 so the Lions had a ton of problems. But I don't think that would get the locals all that excited, do you? Not that you base it just on that because sometimes the best candidates are not the high-profile guys. It's silly to go based off what fans or media think. I do think if Smith does indeed have a bigger front-office role that Wade Phillips would be the front-runner for the job; they have a strong relationship.

Keim: Not sure what will happen to him, but I know he'll be considered for the position. He was part of the staff for three seasons and it's not as if the defense really improved at all during that time. It's never just about one coach. The secondary was a problem under Morris, but it's not as if he was messing up Pro Bowlers and he does bring high energy. But if they truly want to have real change, can you go with someone who could be equally viewed as part of the problem in recent years?

Keim: When they hired Bruce Allen, people I talked to around the league felt it was a good move -- as long as he was left to do what he was good at, such as negotiating contracts and dealing with agents, etc. They felt between he and Mike Shanahan it would at least be a competent organization. That did not turn out to be the case, but not everyone felt it was a bad setup. But I also know that some general manager candidates in the past turned Snyder down because they felt what he wanted most was a dinner partner. (I was told Bobby Beathard felt this way.) I also wonder how many strong football GMs or so-called rising stars would want to work in Washington knowing how the power is set up and how you won't have ultimate power. I do agree, though, with what you say. It's one thing to express you want to win, but then you should set up your organization accordingly. I don't know why he hasn't done it a certain way and can only guess it's because he just likes having a lot of say in what goes on. It's his franchise so it's his right. But through 15 years it hasn't worked. If it ever does I'll give him credit.

Keim: That depends on the new defensive coordinator and whether or not they stick to a 3-4. Let's say it stays the same. On defense you need two safeties -- I know the last group did not view Thomas as a future starter. There's no way you can rely on Tracy Porter as the nickel corner, thanks to injuries, but could Bashaud Breeland cover in there (have him start and move inside in the nickel)? DeAngelo Hall struggled in that role in 2012 so I don't view him as the answer. I doubt they replace both guards. Yes to right tackle and I could see one starting end added on defense. You can't fix all the problems in one offseason, but I didn't think nose tackle was stellar this year, though it wasn't horrible as they were 13th in yards per carry allowed.