The Washington Redskins have hired longtime NFL defensive guru Rob Ryan as inside linebackers coach and promoted passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach Kevin O’Connell to offensive coordinator.
The team announced O'Connell's promotion Tuesday. Matt Cavanaugh, who had been offensive coordinator the past two seasons, is now the Redskins' senior offensive assistant.
The 33-year-old O'Connell previously was an assistant in San Francisco and Cleveland and was considered a strong candidate to land an offensive coordinator job elsewhere in the NFL before Washington gave him that title.
The 56-year-old Ryan most recently served as the Buffalo Bills' assistant head coach for defense in 2016. Before Buffalo, Ryan served as defensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints from 2013-2015, Dallas Cowboys in 2011 and 2012, Cleveland Browns in 2009 and 2010 and Oakland Raiders from 2004-2008. His 2013 Saints' defense ranked second in passing defense and fourth in points allowed.
The Redskins’ defense ranked 17th in the league last season. Defensive coordinator Greg Manusky will return for a third season after the Redskins spoke with several potential candidates for the job but never hired a replacement.
Washington also said defensive line coach Jim Tomsula will return for a third season. Earlier this month, the team hired Nate Kaczor to replace Ben Kotwica as special teams coordinator, Ray Horton to replace Torian Gray as defensive backs coach and Brian Angelichio to replace Wes Phillips as tight ends coach.