The Washington Redskins, spurned by Vic Fangio, hired Joe Barry as their defensive coordinator on Tuesday.
Once the Redskins lost out on Fangio, who accepted a similar position with the Chicago Bears, they were expected to turn to Barry.
"We talked to Vic, and we knew he had a lot of offers on the table," Redskins coach Jay Gruden told reporters at a Senior Bowl practice in Mobile, Alabama. "We just wanted to get him in and see what he was all about so he could see our situation, and he chose to go to Chicago. As far as the offer is concerned, we knew it was kind of a long shot him coming anyway.
"Because obviously he's a great candidate and great football coach, it would've been stupid for us not to reach out and try to get him."
NFL Network first reported the news of Barry's joining the Redskins.
Barry spent the past four years as linebackers coach for the San Diego Chargers, working for a time under current part-time Redskins executive A.J. Smith.
His hire continues changes at Redskins Park after a 4-12 season. The team added general manager Scot McCloughan and offensive line coach Bill Callahan, and fired defensive coordinator Jim Haslett after his fifth season with the team. This past season, the Redskins ranked 20th in total yards allowed and 29th in points per game allowed.
The Redskins nearly had Fangio, but once they lost out on him Tuesday morning, they returned to Barry, who was their first interview in the process and who was reportedly close to getting the job last week -- before Fangio became available.
Barry has ties to the Redskins' staff, having coached linebackers for eight seasons in Tampa Bay. During part of his time with the Buccaneers, Barry worked for then-GM Bruce Allen, who's currently Redskins president, and coached alongside Gruden, who was an offensive assistant in Tampa. Redskins executive Doug Williams was in the Buccaneers' front office at that time, as well. Also, Redskins secondary coach Raheem Morris, then Tampa's head coach, brought Barry back in 2009 after a two-year stint as Detroit Lions defensive coordinator.
Barry, 44, also coached linebackers in 2010 at Southern Cal.
Barry was Detroit's defensive coordinator in 2007 and 2008, during which time the Lions struggled mightily. They were 0-16 in 2008 with a defense that allowed 517 points. In 2007, the Lions allowed an NFL-record 422 completions and 70.1 percent of passes to be completed (an NFL record until 2011).
"I think it's molded him," Gruden said. "One thing we know is he can handle adversity. That's important. He's walking into a situation here where we're going to have some adversity, and I know he can handle it. He's a tough guy, committed guy, a loyal guy, and I think he's a good fit for us.
"Other coaches have had some rough patches in their careers, too. It's not just him. Every guy we interviewed, there's been a season or two that haven't been perfect. It's how you react that makes you a better coach."
The Redskins have run a 3-4 defense the past five seasons. Barry ran a 4-3 in Detroit, but the Chargers have run a 3-4 during his stint.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.