After promoting Kevin O'Connell to offensive coordinator and Matt Cavanaugh to senior offensive assistant, Washington filled out its offensive coaching staff by hiring Tim Rattay as quarterbacks coach last week, providing a foundation for success for whomever is under center come Week 1.
The Redskins are actively searching for a quarterback either through free agency or the draft after team president Bruce Allen announced that the franchise is preparing for a season potentially without quarterback Alex Smith. As the reality sets in that Smith may not be ready, team executives, including Allen, know for now that Colt McCoy is on the roster and several enticing prospects could be available in April.
The hiring of Rattay is a critical one as the team prepares to begin evaluations of that position full time. Head coach Jay Gruden spent the prior weeks interviewing a handful of accomplished candidates, including former Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Ken Zampese, who Gruden worked with during his tenure with the Bengals.
Like Alex Smith, the 41-year-old Rattay is a former 49ers quarterback, and two shared time together in the Bay area. Rattay hopes their chemistry, either on the feld or the sidelines, will grow further in Washington.
"Alex was great, we enjoyed our time together," Rattay said. "It wasn't a whole lot of time together because they traded me Week 6 because Alex beat me out, so they shipped me out of there but we enjoyed the time we spent together."
After his playing career, Rattay coached wide receivers for the United Football League's Las Vegas Locomotives before taking a similar position at his alma mater Louisiana Tech in 2013. He spent the past four seasons coaching quarterbacks at Louisiana Tech where he helped develop Bengals backup quarterback Jeff Driskel.
Rattay becomes the fourth coach on the Redskins with quarterback coaching experience, joining Gruden, O'Connell and Cavanaugh, but will provide a new philisophy that Rattay says is predicated on "fundamentals."
"It's really from a lot of the great coaches that I've been around," Rattay said. "My dad was my high school coach, my college coach Gary Crowton, and have had the opportunity in the NFL to be around a lot of great quarterback guys. So just blending that philosophy with a lot of the things I believe in, I love the position, it's a very unique position and one that is very important. But it's fun to coach, there is a lot of fundamental stuff that is important to the position that I really like to hone in on and I'm just really excited to coach that position."