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Arnsparger Joins Redskins Staff

October 7, 1999

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) _ The Redskins turned to an old nemesis to help meet an immediate need: improving the league’s worst defense.

Bill Arnsparger, one of the NFL’s defensive masterminds of recent decades, is joining the Redskins’ staff as a defensive coach. He will report on Monday, coach Norv Turner said.

Also Thursday, the team named Stephen Baldacci as president of Washington Redskins Entertainment, Inc. He will be responsible for the Redskins’ marketing and sales.

Arnsparger, a 23-year NFL coaching veteran, was the architect of Miami’s ``No Name Defense″ of the early 1970s. That defense was instrumental in the Dolphins’ 17-0 season in 1972 that ended with a 14-7 victory over the Redskins in Super Bowl VII.

Arnsparger will work with defensive coordinator Mike Nolan to help revamp a defense that has allowed league highs of 29 1/2 points and 433 1/2 yards per game. Turner was unclear on Arnsparger’s exact role for the 3-1 Redskins, who have a bye week, then play at Arizona.

``Bill’s going to be able to give us a quick evaluation of the things he sees,″ Turner said. ``He’s going to see some of the same things we do, like inconsistencies, and help with eliminating big plays. He’ll be in all the game plan meetings, working with Mike and other coaches. He’s another set of eyes, another experienced coach, and a guy who, through the next 12 weeks, will be able to give us some good input.″

The hiring didn’t signify a lack of confidence in Nolan, nor did it make Nolan uncomfortable, Turner said.

``Obviously, if we were concerned about that, we wouldn’t have done it,″ Turner said. ``Mike is excited about it, and I’m excited to get Coach Arnsparger in here, because he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience.″

Nolan concurred about his comfort with the move.

``Norv and I talked about a lot of different things, from personnel changes to coaches,″ Nolan said. ``This was one thing we thought would be a good move to help us improve and get better as a defense.″

Arnsparger has been away from coaching for four seasons. Most recently, he was San Diego’s defensive coordinator from 1992-94. In 1992, the Chargers had the AFC’s No. 2 defense.

In nine of Arnsparger’s 11 seasons in Miami, the Dolphins defense finished first or second in the NFL. He helped craft Miami’s stingy ``Killer Bs″ defense of the early 1980s, when the Dolphins lost in two Super Bowls.

In Baldacci’s most recent role, he worked for almost 10 years in senior sales, marketing and strategy positions at Snyder Communications, the marketing and communications firm of the Redskins’ new owner, Dan Snyder. The Redskins’ last team president was John Kent Cooke, who left the organization after he failed in a bid to buy the team from his late father’s estate.

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