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Chris Horton a lock?

Chris Horton a lock?

It probably would be inaccurate to say that Chris Horton is happy that fellow Washington Redskins safety Stuart Schweigert is now his former teammate. Pros, even rookies, don't revel in players becoming unemployed, even ones that play the same position.

However, although Horton isn't doing a happy dance, it's doubtful that he's moping around the conference center that the Redskins are calling home during training camp after hearing the news of the former Raider's departure. While Schweigert's departure doesn't guarantee a roster spot for the seventh-round pick in the April draft, it helps Horton immeasurably.

You don't play your way onto a roster in one preseason game, especially the first of five, and you don't play your way off of the team in that one game, either. However, if what happens in that game reinforces impressions—negative or positive—that the coaching staff has about your play, that one game can be decisive.

Schweigert has more starting experience than the rest of the corps of safeties combined, but he's been practically invisible in training camp. His lackluster performance has been in contrast to that of Horton, who has been living up to his reputation is a big hitter.

On the Colts' first touchdown, Onrea Jones bolted by rookie cornerback Justin Tryon and into the open to catch a 30-yard touchdown pass from Quinn Gray. Arriving into the picture way too late was Schweigert, who apparently was supposed to be covering the deep zone.

It's not unreasonable to figure that the coaches thought that if Schweigert couldn't handle his assignment on the Gray to O. Jones combination the duos of Romo to Owens and Manning to Burress would be beyond the scope of his abilities. They hadn't seen anything in practice to counter that impression, so the decision was made to let him go.

Horton isn't ready for prime time either, but he is hustling and he's eager to learn. In his very first play as a professional football player he had the presence of mind to watch for the onside kick and the recovered the ball after one or two teammates had muffed chances to do so. He was greatly aided on his two sacks by the fact that the Colts' blitz pickups were nonexistent, but you have to give him credit for going in and making the tackles. His takedown of Jared Lorenzen was particularly impressive. A lot of DB's would have bounced off of the 285-lb. quarterback trying to make a big hit, but Horton just grabbed hold and wrestled him to the ground.

Just like the numbers game works against Marcus Mason, it works in favor of Chris Horton. Patrick Ghee, a second-year player who was on the Carolina practice squad for a while last year, was signed in Schweigert's spot, so there still are six safeties on the roster. The Redskins are likely to keep five, so that means that Horton just has to beat out either Ghee or Kareem Moore. The former has already been cut by the Skins earlier this year and although the latter was selected 69 spots ahead of Horton, Moore has been sidelines with a knee problem for most of OTA's and camp.

Horton's not a lock, but he's as close to one as a seventh-round pick can be after one-fifth of the preseason schedule.

Join me for a live blog of Saturday's preseason game. Go here for details.

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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.