Redskins staff tweaks continue; Hilliard added

Redskins staff tweaks continue; Hilliard added
January 23, 2012, 10:17 pm
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UPDATED 6:54 p.m.

FAIRHOPE, Ala. -- Mike Shanahans tweaking of the Redskins coaching staff continued Monday when the team finally confirmed Raheem Morris as defensive backs coach and named Ike Hilliard and Bob Slowik as receivers and linebackers coaches, respectively.

If the person Shanahan hires to assist Morris, the Redskins will have three new staff members this year.

Morris made his Redskins on-field debut Monday during the South squads Senior Bowl practice. Slowik worked with the linebackers and offensive assistant Richmond Flowers handled the receivers. Hilliard is expected to be in Alabama later this week.

Departing from the staff since the end of the season have been safeties coach Steve Jackson and receivers coach Keenan McCardell, both of whom were fired, and linebackers coach Lou Spanos, who accepted the defensive coordinator spot at UCLA.

Slowik is a longtime Shanahan assistant who served the last two years in the secondary.

Morris is the high-profile hire of the group, having been Tampa Bays head coach the last three years before he was fired after a 10-game losing streak to finish the season.

Ive always kept an eye on Raheem, and when he got to become a head coach, I obviously never thought I would get him on my staff, Shanahan said. But he was available, we tried to get him and hell bring a lot. Hes an excellent coach who relates well to players.

Morris interviewed with the Redskins a day after he was fired by Tampa Bay and also interviewed for Minnesotas defensive coordinator post.

Morris could not be located for an interview after practice.

Hilliard was Miamis receivers coach last year and, like McCardell, brings a wealth of playing experience and a little coaching experience.

Hilliard, 35, played 12 years for the Giants and Tampa Bay, making 546 catches for 6,397 yards and 35 touchdowns in 161 games. Upon his retirement, he worked two years for the UFLs Florida Tuskers, including his first year as a volunteer coach under current Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett.

Last year, Hilliard was assistant receivers coach for the Dolphins.

Ive been talking to Ike for a while, and I knew there was a good chance he would be available, Shanahan said. I had a chance to talk to him in detail. He has some great experience in this league, and I heard some great things from people hes played for and coached with.

Spanos was with the Redskins for two years and received a nice pay raise to return to the college game for the first time after 16 years in the NFL.

Its always tough to lose a coach, but I think we have a guy that will fit in great, Shanahan said of Slowik. He has the knowledge of the four-man fronts and the three-man fronts and the run fits and some of the things we would have liked to have done better last year. I think hell relate to our players very well.

Slowik hopes to lean on his two-year stint coaching Chicagos linebackers and his knowledge from defensive coordinator stops in Chicago, Cleveland, Green Bay and Denver to have a smooth transition.

I love coaching linebackers, he said. I would say we have a pretty good group to work with, guys who arent new to the system. Its pretty positive.
Contact OHalloran at rohalloran@comcastsportsnet.com.