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A Redskins quarterback competition in name only?

A Redskins quarterback competition in name only?

Redskins’ GM Scot McCloughan gave some clarity to the Redskins’ quarterback situation during a radio appearance on 1067 The Fan on Thursday. Or did he?

Coach Jay Gruden has said that Robert Griffin III is “the No. 1 guy” and would run the first-team offense during OTAs and in training camp. Host Grant Paulsen asked McCloughan why there wasn’t an open quarterback competition.

“It is open. It is open,” McCloughan replied, apparently repeating himself for emphasis. “But, you know, it’s Robert’s job to lose. It’s definitely wide open . . . I can promise you this, the guy that wins the job is going to be the starter Day One. Right now Robert has the opportunity to walk out there Day One and get the first snaps.”

“Our bottom line is to win football games. That’s why I’m here, that’s why Jay’s here, that’s why Bruce is here, that’s what Dan wants. We have to win football games. The best players are going to play.”

The question here is, how can it be an “open” competition if it’s already one player’s job? That’s not really a “wide open” deal there.

“It’s his job to lose” could be said of any player’s job. In theory, Trent Williams can play his way out of his job as the starting left tackle. But his job is not “open”. They won’t go through training camp and have him take about half of the reps with the first team and have Morgan Moses take the other half and then decide who plays better. It’s Trent Williams’ job.

On the other hand, right guard Chris Chester’ job truly is “wide open”. He will be pushed hard by Spencer Long and perhaps by rookie Arie Kouandjio. There could be some alternating of snaps with the first unit. When the starters line up for the first preseason game it would not be shocking to see Long in there.

Chester is in what most of us would call a competition for the starting job. Williams is not. Is Griffin’s position more like that of Chester’s, where Long has a fighting, very legitimate chance to take away the job? Or is Griffin more like Williams, in a competition in theory only? It's probably somewhere in between but it sure sounds more like the latter than the former.

It should be noted that having a true quarterback competition comes with a price, especially for a younger quarterback like Griffin. He needs all of the snaps he can get with the first team in order to get ready for the regular season. Cutting those in half to determine a winner would not serve Griffin—or Cousins or McCoy if one of them one the job—very well.

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#RedskinsTalk Podcast Episode 40 - Seriously, when will the Redskins pick a coordinator?

#RedskinsTalk Podcast Episode 40 - Seriously, when will the Redskins pick a coordinator?

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. 

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0: CORNERING THE MARKET

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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.