It is crossroads time for the Redskins.
As the team begins its search for the 27th head coach in franchise history, there are two directions to go: Promote a coach from within or hire a coach from outside the organization.
Certainly, there are pros and cons to both approaches.
Right now, the direction the team goes is anyone's guess.
It's too soon to say there's a front-runner or even a short list, but here are some names that have been discussed by media and fans.
It is by no means a list that is official--just some names to keep an eye on in the days ahead.
-- Greg Blache
Blache has a wealth of experience and a few years ago was a hot head coaching prospect. He has served as defensive coordinator-defensive line coach for the Redskins since 2004. From 1998-2004, he helped mold the Chicago Bears unit into one of the top defenses in the NFL.
-- Pete Carroll
Carroll is currently the head coach at USC, where he has won two National Championships and compiled a record of 76-14 since 2001. He was head coach of the New York Jets in 1994, but he was 6-10 and fired after one season. He was head coach of the New England Patriots from 1997-99, compiling a 28-23 mark with one division championship.
-- Bill Cowher
The former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach--who helped the franchise win Super Bowl XL in 2005--has served as a CBS broadcaster the last year. His career coaching record is 166-91-1. Cowher has told reporters that he expects to work at least one more year in broadcasting.
-- Jason Garrett
Garrett is in his first season as Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator. The Princeton grad produced one of the NFL's top offenses led by quarterback Tony Romo. As a player, he was a backup quarterback--to Hall of Famer Troy Aikman--for the Cowboys from 1993-99. He also played for the New York Giants, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins.
-- Russ Grimm
Grimm has a long and storied career with the Redskins. He was a Pro Bowl offensive lineman--one of "The Hogs--from 1981-91, and then served as tight ends coach and offensive line coach through the 2000 season. He was on Bill Cowher's staff from 2001-06. Now he works as assistant head coach-offensive line with the Arizona Cardinals.
-- Rex Ryan
The son of Buddy Ryan, Rex Ryan was the defensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens from 1999-2007. He was defensive line coach of the Ravens in 2000, the year they won Super Bowl XXXV. He was the architect of the NFL's No. 1-ranked defense in 2006; the unit was ranked sixth last season.
-- Al Saunders
Saunders, the Redskins' associate head coach-offense, was last a head coach with the San Diego Chargers from 1986-88. He took over for coaching legend Don Coryell midseason in 1986, and then in his first full season he was 8-7. In 1988, he was 6-10, leading to his dismissal. Saunders led the NFL's top-ranked offense in Kansas City before joining the Redskins in 2006.
-- Jim Schwartz
Schwartz has become a hot candidate this offseason. Since 2001, he has served as the defensive coordinator of the Tennessee Titans and last season he guided the NFL's fifth-ranked defense. From 1999-2001, he was an assistant to then-Titans defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. Prior to Tennessee, he was a defensive assistant with the Baltimore Ravens from 1996-98.
-- Mike Singletary
Singletary is most famous as the middle linebacker of the vaunted Chicago Bears defense during the 1980s. The Hall of Famer started his coaching career an assistant with the Baltimore Ravens in 2003. A year later, he went to San Francisco to become the 49ers' assistant head coach-linebackers coach. San Francisco had the NFL's 25th-ranked defense last season.
-- Gregg Williams
Before coming to the Redskins in 2004, Williams was the head coach of the Buffalo Bills from 2001-03. He produced a record of 17-31 in three seasons in Buffalo. In Washington, Williams's defenses have been top 10 units three of the last four years.