Have you've been wondering how it is the Philadelphia Eagles, a team many a pundit predicted to win the NFC East this year, struggled to defeat the supposedly lowly Cleveland Browns inthe season opener?The headlines over at CSNphilly.com provide insight. Vick's fundamentals were lousy Vick needs to stop thinking and just play Reid deflects criticism away from VickEagles quarterback Michael Vick attempted an astonishing 56 passes, but barely completed half of them(29) while throwing four interceptions.Yes, he ultimately threw the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter, but it was the many wayward tosses that nearly derailed the Eagles despite playing a Browns teamdirected offensivelyby an overmatched rookie quarterback. That won't be the case in Week 2 when Philadelphia hosts Joe Flacco -- not to mention ball-hawking defenders like Ed Reed --and the Baltimore Ravens. Vick could be without wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, who is dealing with a hip pointer. Once you move past the fantasy football type thoughts about the Dallas Cowboys opening game victory - Tony Romo throwing for three scores, unheralded Kevin Ogletree catching two of them, DeMarco Murray running for daylight - the improved cornerback play was a true standout. High profile free agent Brandon Carr and No. 1 draft pick Morris Claiborne more then held their own against the Giants upside receivers and did so without the veteran incumbent Mike Jenkins, recovering from shoulder surgery. The Cowboys hope to have Jenkins ready for the Seahawks in Week 2 - and is it turns out with their depth issues, they need him. As for the Giants, many a sleepless night has been had by "disgusted" defensive end Justin Tuck since Wednesday's 24-17 home loss to the Cowboys. Hard to imagine he's alone considering New York struggled in many facets, from its vaunted pass rush to its potent passing attack. To avoid a 0-2 start, the Giants must defeat Tampa Bay, a team brimming with confidence after opening the season with a win under new coach Greg Schiano."I think every guy in this locker room is disgusted with how we played, and want to come out and have a better showing, considering Tampa is coming off a great win over Carolina,'' Tuck said.
As the Redskins settle into the offseason without both an offensive and defensive coordinator, JP Finlay and Rich Tandler debate who will get the jobs, and when they will be announced.
The Redskins have interviewed some high-profile candidates for their open defensive coordinator position. When it was reported that they will meet with former Raiders defensive coordinator Jason Tarver, the reaction among the fans was, “Who?”
Let’s take a look at what Tarver’s qualifications are to get the job of running the Redskins’ defense.
Before becoming a coordinator: At the age of 22, Tarver took a coaching job at West Valley College in California, and did that while earning his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Santa Clara. After that he was a graduate assistant at UCLA for three years before getting into the NFL in 2001, when the 49ers hired him as a quality control coach. Tarver worked his way up to outside linebackers coach in 2005 and did that job until 2010, when he was let go went Mike Singletary was fired as the head coach. After a year as the defensive coordinator at Stanford, Dennis Allen hired Tarver to run the Raiders defense in 2012.
More Redskins: Early first-round draft possibilities
Note: If you want more complete stats on Tarver’s defenses check out his page on Pro Football Reference. DVOA stats via Football Outsiders. A negative DVOA percentage is better than a positive number. Zero is average.
For players, * designates Pro Bowl selection, + designates first-team All-Pro
2012 Raiders (4-12)
Rankings: Yards 5,672 (18th), points 443 (28th), takeaways 19 (26th), 3rd down 39.1% (20th), DVOA 12.5% 29th
Notable players: DT Richard Seymour, DE Lamarr Houston
It should be noted that Allen had a defensive background so he had a hand in these numbers. This team just wasn’t very good as indicated by the fact that Seymour, at age 33, was one of their best defensive players.
2013 Raiders (4-12)
Rankings: Yards 5,918 (22nd), points 453 (29th), takeaways 22 (21st), 3rd down 43.1% (28th), DVOA 10.3% (26th)
Notable players: S Charles Woodson
They did make an effort to shore up the defense by bringing back Woodson and drafting cornerback D.J. Hayden in the first round. But Hayden only played in eight games and Woodson could only contribute so much at age 37. The pass defense struggled, ranking 29th in DVOA.
2014 Raiders (3-13)
Rankings: 5,721 (21st), points 452 (32nd), takeaways 14 (30th), 3rd down 38.5% (14th), DVOA 6.3% (26th)
Notable players: LB Khalil Mack, S Woodson
Allen was fired after an 0-4 start and Tony Sparano took over as interim head coach the rest of the way. Sparano has an offensive background so perhaps Tarver is more fully accountable for these results than those in other seasons. They did draft Mack with the fifth overall pick but his impact as a rookie was limited as recorded four sacks. Hayden again missed half of the season and, again, the defense was near the bottom of the NFL.