Washington announces Joe Barry, three other coaches won’t return

AP

It wasn’t quite the whole defensive staff, but Washington coach Jay Gruden has made major changes today.

Gruden announced today that four assistants won’t be back for the 2017 season: defensive coordinator Joe Barry, defensive backs coach Perry Fewell, defensive line coach Robb Akey and strength and conditioning coach Mike Clark.

The biggest move is the departure of Barry, who has spent the last two years as Washington’s defensive coordinator and hasn’t done much to improve a bad defense. Gruden clearly thinks it’s time to move in another direction, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see more assistants let go if a new defensive coordinator decides to bring in his own guys.

Big names Gruden could consider include Wade Phillips, whose son Wes is on Gruden’s offensive staff, and Gus Bradley, who previously coached for Jay’s brother Jon in Tampa.

It’s going to be a big offseason in Washington, where the team also needs to decide whether Kirk Cousins is the franchise quarterback. Gruden has some very immportant decisions ahead of him.