When the Redskins announced their decision to part ways with veteran linebackers coach Dale Lindsey on Tuesday, it came as somewhat of a surprise.
By the same token, the person Joe Gibbs named to replace Lindsey, Kirk Olivadotti, certainly seems up for the challenge as the new linebackers coach.
Olivadotti, who has spent all seven of his NFL coaching seasons with the Redskins, has held various defensive coaching responsibilities since he joined Norv Turner's staff in 2000.
Most recently, Olivadotti--or "K.O.", as he is known to players, coaches and staff around Redskin Park--served as an assistant defensive line coach and worked with special teams under Danny Smith.
Among the NFL coaching fraternity, Olivadotti is viewed as a young coach with a great deal of potential who is starting to come into his own.
Said Gibbs: "Kirk is an extremely bright young coach who has earned this opportunity. He's proven himself with every step he has taken with the Redskins. He'll provide continuity to our linebacker position."
Olivadotti, whose father Tom is a long-time NFL assistant, has worked with several outstanding defensive coaches and coordinators since he's been in the NFL. That list includes Ray Rhodes, Kurt Schottenheimer, Marvin Lewis, Gregg Williams and Greg Blache.
"I look forward to taking on the new responsibilities that come with this position and the chance to work under Coach Gibbs and Coach Williams," Olivadotti said.
Lindsey had been in charge of the linebackers during the last three seasons and spent a total of five years of his 29-year NFL career with the Redskins.
In taking over at his new post, Olivadotti will be trying to revitalize a veteran group that last year featured Marcus Washington, Lemar Marshall and Warrick Holdman.
Among the questions Olivadotti and Redskins linebackers face in 2007: Can Washington return to his Pro Bowl form of 2004? Is Marshall's future at middle linebacker or on the outside? Is 2006 draft pick Rocky McIntosh ready for a starting assignment?
Olivadotti played his college ball at Purdue (1993-96), where he was a wide receiver. He coached at the college level for three years before joining the Redskins in 2000.
By way of reputation, Olivadotti is known as a coach who has embraced many of the new advances in technologies available to NFL coaches these days.
A year ago, Gibbs tweaked his staff by promoting Bill Lazor to coach quarterbacks and in making the move with Olivadotti he's called upon another young NFL coach who has what appears to be a significant up side.