WASHINGTON — This will be the first NFL playoff game with a female coach on each sideline.
Tampa Bay has two in assistant defensive line coach Lori Locust and assistant strength and conditioning coach Maral Javadifar; Washington has full-year coaching intern Jennifer King, who assists with running backs.
Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said he and Washington counterpart Ron Rivera, also advocates for more minority representation in coaching, were on a diversity panel once and share similar beliefs. Arians called women in coaching “the wave of the future.”
“It’s going to tell those young girls that are watching that you can — yes, you can coach in the NFL,” Rivera said. “This game, it’s a tremendous game. It should be open to everybody in terms of opportunities to play, opportunities to coach or opportunities to lead the organization.”
King has worked closely with Redskins staff before -- she previously served as an intern for Carolina Panthers during their 2017 season, under now Redskins coach Ron Rivera. As for specifics with coaching, King will work with the offensive side of the ball.
Before her internship with the Panthers, she was an assistant wide receiver coach for the Arizona Hotshots as well as an offensive assistant for Dartmouth College. Walker reported that King also was on the field, winning three championships in the semi-professional Women's Football Alliance.
Young and NFC East champion Washington will get Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Saturday night in the wild-card round as a home underdog. Young's first NFL playoff game is Brady's 42nd and first not in a New England Patriots uniform, a chance for the 43-year-old to add to his career accomplishments.
“Nothing is given — you have to earn everything,” Brady said. “We’re going up against a division winner and a team that’s very talented. Certainly on defense they have a lot of playmakers, so we have to put it all together. In order to advance, you have to play good football.”
Tampa Bay (11-5) has done that with Brady, riding a four-game winning streak since its bye week. Washington (7-9) won the league's worst division thanks in large part to Young's stellar rookie season and quarterback Alex Smith's leadership two years since severely breaking his right leg.