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Collins safe; Daniel, Brennan will battle for spot

Collins safe; Daniel, Brennan will battle for spot

Sometimes you have to read between the lines to get the answers you're looking for.

During the offseason, there has been speculation that the Washington Redskins might choose to keep both Colt Brennan and Colt Daniel and release the 38-year-old Todd Collins. The thinking was that Collins is not the long-term answer at quarterback so why not go with a youth movement and have a leg up should Jason Campbell leave via free agency at the end of the season.

Again, this was based on nothing more than musings but still something that warranted some attention. There also was speculation that if Daniel performed well Zorn might keep four quarterbacks. 

Until Saturday, that is. After practice, Jim Zorn was asked if there was any chance that he would keep both Brennan and Daniel on the final roster.

"I'm not going to keep four quarterbacks," Zorn replied. "I can't. I will not do that. That's tough."

Given the context it's clear that Collins is safe. And when looking at the big picture it makes sense. While I'm not with those who say that the Redskins must make the playoffs in order for Zorn to keep his job, an ugly 6-10 would almost certainly have Dan Snyder push him out the door. A veteran quarterback who can stop the bleeding is a good insurance policy to have around if Jason Campbell gets injured or is ineffective.

To take it a step further, it doesn't seem possible for Daniel to make the roster. Both he and Brennan were highly productive college quarterbacks who face a long adjustment to the pro-style game. Brennan, however, already has a more than a year of learning under his belt while Daniel has just three months. Daniel would have to shine brightly while Brennan would have to fall flat on his face for Zorn to choose Daniel over Brennan.

The quarterback picture seemed to be pretty solid going into camp. Now, three days in, it's etched in stone.

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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: NFL Mock Draft 1.0

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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.