LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. – The Washington Redskins today announced Brett Nenaber as the team's director of player performance and Jeff Zgonina as the assistant defensive line coach. Nenaber will report to Head Coach Ron Rivera and Head Athletic Trainer Ryan Vermillion.
Nenaber is entering his eighth season as an NFL athletic performance professional after serving in a variety of roles with the Carolina Panthers including athletic performance analyst (2015-19), assistant strength and conditioning coach (2014-15) and strength and conditioning intern (2013-14).
Prior to working in the NFL, Nenaber spent two years with Arizona State University, serving as a graduate assistant strength and conditioning coach (2010-12). He also spent time with the Red Bull Racing Team, serving as a pit crew member for two years (2008-09).
Nenaber received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Arizona State University, majoring in Interdisciplinary studies and Exercise and Wellness respectively.
Zgonina enters his fifth NFL season as a coach after serving as the defensive line coach for the San Francisco 49ers from 2017-18 and holding assistant defensive line roles with the New York Giants in 2016 and the Houston Texans in 2013.
During his two-year stint with San Francisco, Zgonina played a major role in the development of DT DeForest Buckner. Buckner increased his sack totals from 3.0 in 2017 to 12.0 in 2018. He finished 2018 No. 3 in the NFL in total sacks among defensive tackles and was selected to his first career Pro Bowl.
In 2016 with the New York Giants, Zgonina was part of a defense that ranked No. 2 in the NFL in total points allowed per game (17.8) and No. 3 in rushing yards allowed per game (88.6). DT Damon Harrison registered career highs in sacks (2.5) and tackles (86) while working with Zgonina that season.
Zgonina began his coaching career in Houston in 2013 where he worked with All-Pro J.J. Watt. Watt finished the season with 10.5 sacks and was named All-Pro for the second time in his career in 2013.
As a player, Zgonina appeared in 219 career games (67 starts) at defensive tackle and finished his career with 448 tackles, 26 sacks, 13 fumble recoveries, 11 passes defensed, three forced fumbles and one interception in 17 total seasons. During his career he played for the Pittsburgh Steelers (1993-94), Carolina Panthers (1995), Atlanta Falcons (1996), St. Louis Rams (1997, 1999-2002), Indianapolis Colts (1998), Miami Dolphins (2003-06) and Houston Texans (2007-09). He appeared in nine postseason contest during his playing career and was a member of the St. Louis Rams team that won Super Bowl XXXIV over the Tennessee Titans.