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Where are we? The Redskins after 11 games

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Where are we? The Redskins after 11 games

Here is how the Redskins stand after 11 games:

Record: 5-6, second in NFC East
vs. NFC East: 2-1
vs. NFC: 5-4
Home: 2-3
Away: 3-3

Opposition cumulative record: 61-59-1 (.508 winning percentage)
Cumulative of teams beaten: 25-30 (.455)
Cumulative of teams lost to: 36-29-1 (.553)
Record of teams remaining on schedule: 29-31 (.491)

Offensive MVP (season to date) There he went again. Another big stage and another big game for Robert Griffin III. The rookie passed the Cowboys silly in the first half and then, after the Cowboys had made it a one-score game, drove the Redskins to a clinching field goal. Just another chapter in a remarkable rookie season.

Defensive MVP: London Fletcher is not going to play forever and Perry Riley is his heir apparent as the heart and soul of the defense. He plays sideline to sideline and he makes fewer and fewer mistakes every game. Riley is never going to be the vocal leader that Fletcher is and he may never be as good a player but right now he is the best player on the Redskins defense, play in, play out, and game in, game out.

Top three storylines:

A game out—Thanks to wins over the Eagles and Cowboys and a string of favorable results in other games it took just two games for the Redskins to go from “evaluation” mode into playoff contention. That is the nature of the NFL these days and the Redskins won’t apologize if they can take advantage of it.

Garçon is back—Many were wondering if it was a wise idea to active Pierre Garçon rather than just start his offseason early and let him rehab his ailing toe. He showed against Dallas that playing him was indeed the right move. If he can play at that level he will give RG3 a prime target and make him even more dangerous.

A tale of two halves—At halftime of the Thanksgiving game, the Redskins had given up just nine points in its last six quarters of play. Then they got rocked for 28 in the final 30 minutes in Dallas although one touchdown came after a short drive following Griffin’s interception. Will the

Next three games

Monday nigh vs. Giants (7-4, first in NFC East)—Their season was teetering on the brink going into their bye but they came out of it looking much better as they pounded the Packers.

Dec 9 vs. Ravens (9-2, first in AFC North)—They needed Ray Rice’s amazing fourth and 29 conversion to pull out a win over the struggling Chargers, showing once again that they are a very different team on the road.

Dec 16 @ Browns (3-8, fourth in AFC North)—The Steelers found out that the Browns can hang around a game and pull it out if you let them. The Redskins are unlikely to turn the ball over eight times like the Steelers did but they still need to avoid a potential trap. 

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Redskins defensive coordinator resume: Jason Tarver

Redskins defensive coordinator resume: Jason Tarver

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.

Related: Redskins offensive coordinator resume: Matt Cavanaugh

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.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page www.Facebook.com/RealRedskins and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Need to Know: An early look at first-round draft possibilities for the Redskins

Need to Know: An early look at first-round draft possibilities for the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, January 17, 100 days before the NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL franchise tag deadline 44
NFL free agency starts 52
First Sunday of 2017 season 237

A six pack of potential first-round draft picks for the Redskins

We’re at a nice, round 100 days until the NFL draft starts. The deadline for underclassmen to declare has passed and the first of the postseason all-star events, the East-West Shrine game, is starting up this week. It’s time to look at some possibilities for the Redskins’ first-round draft pick, which is No. 17 overall.

We’re still not sure of what defensive scheme the Redskins will run this year but it’s likely that they could fit Stanford DE Solomon Thomas into it. He’s not the classic edge rusher type but he is big (6-2, 275), violent and he can collapse the pocket.

—Michigan S Jabrill Peppers is a top-five pick according to one NFC executive but it’s a little early to put him up that high. He’s a versatile defender and he has drawn comparisons to Troy Polamalu, Charles Woodson, and Tyrann Mathieu. If he’s there at 17 the Redskins might find it hard to resist pulling the trigger.

There has been very early buzz about the Redskins having some interest in Michigan State DL Malik McDowell. He can play end in a 3-4 front or tackle in a 4-3 and provide disruption and pass rush from either spot. The 6-6, 276-lb. McDowell was a top-five prospect on many early boards but he stock has slipped to the point where he could be available for the Redskins.

The upgrade the Redskins are looking for at inside linebacker could be Florida ILB Jarrad Davis. He’s tough, tenacious, smart, and instinctive. The most important part of the combine for him won’t be his 40 time or bench press, it will be the medicals. He has missed some games with assorted injures including a torn meniscus in 2014.

Another flexible linebacker who could help inside in a 3-4 or outside in a 4-3 is Vanderbilt LG Zach Cunningham. At 6-3, 230 he plays very well in space and he shows a great ability to take on blockers. He needs work on tackling and pass rushing techniques but he has the tools to be an impact defender very quickly.

Although a defender would be a popular and logical pick here, the Redskins could go off script. After the 2015 draft, it was reported that Scot McCloughan might have taken Todd Gurley if he had been able to trade back from No. 5 overall to a little later in the first round. So I think it would be a mistake to dismiss the possibility of him going with an offensive skill player such as Florida State RB Dalvin Cook if he’s on the board and McCloughan has him rated as the best available player.

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Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page www.Facebook.com/RealRedskins and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.