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Come On In The Water's Warm

Come On In The Water's Warm

You can reach Rich Tandler by email at WarpathInsiders@comcast.net
The Redskins pool has not had many swimmers take a dip in its Burgundy and Gold colored waters this year. That is, until lately. Now all sorts of folks are diving in, many of them head first.

Articles detailing how and why the Redskins will not only make the playoffs but make some noise when they get there are popping up like dandelions on your lawn in the spring. This one comes from Adam Schein on FoxSports.com:

Now the Redskins are one of the hottest teams in the NFL, and a game away from making the tournament.

And a game away from being a team nobody wants to face in the postseason.
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The current formula is too strong; a game changing defense, fantastic coaching, a strong running attack, and a super confident bunch.

A formula made for success in the playoffs.

And to think I criticized Joe Theisman for drinking the Redskins Kool-Aid in the preseason, talking about Washington as a Super Bowl team.

Shame on me. Hail to the Redskins.And then there's this one, Jason Whitlock's 10 NFL Truths column on ESPN.com:

8. Of all the teams in the NFC, the Washington Redskins are the only team capable of winning the Super Bowl.

After being down on Joe Gibbs early in the season, I have to credit him for getting things together. If the Skins knock off the Eagles, they will enter the playoffs as the hottest team in the league -- hotter than the streaking Patriots, also winners of four straight.
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7. OK, while I'm on the subject, let me rank the NFC Super Bowl hopefuls.

1. Redskins: Outstanding defense and just enough offense to beat any team in the league. There are more out there and there will be more in the coming days. No doubt your local columnist is penning a Redskins lovefest article at this moment. The pool is getting quite crowded.

We would like to welcome them and tell them to come on in, the water's warm. Some of us have had such a feeling that this could be a special season for the Redskins quite some time ago.

Back on October 26 when the Redskins were 4-2, before the downs of the rout in the Meadowlands and the agonizing three-game skid, before the ups of the Sunday night win over Philly and the dual thrashings the Redskins delivered to Dallas and the Giants, a piece called "Why Not the Redskins" appeared in this space.
Do the Redskins have “it”? Before the season started, even those with the burgundy and gold glasses permanently perched on their noses would have been hard pressed to make a case for the Redskins, 6-10 in 2004, going to the Super Bowl XL. In September, they were a year or two away at best, primarily because the offense was a mess and the Eagles were the dominant force in the division. Saying that they had an outside shot at a wild-card playoff spot was considered to be a bold statement, anything beyond that was a mix of wishful thinking, fantasy, and lunacy.

Of course, similar things were said of the Carolina Panthers in early 2003. And the 2001 Patriots, the 2000 Ravens and the 1999 Rams and Titans had the same slim to none chance of making it to the title game as the Redskins were given in August. Somewhere along the line, however, they all got “it”. At some point during the season, the players started to seriously think, why not us?
The article went on to list some of the elements that, if they held up, could make the Redskins a dangerous team come playoff time, elements such as Brunell's solid quarterback play, balance, the presence of playmakers on both sides of the ball and, most importantly, a coach who has been there before, with three pieces of hardware in the lobby of Redskins Park to prove it.

Through the ups and downs of the past two months, those elements have remained in place.

The point here is not to brag about possessing some great insight or claim to be some sort of guru with powers of premonition. The fact is that the team that Whitlock and Schein and everyone else is raving about now was there two months ago. None of them, however, bothered to take the time to look at the team, to learn about the character of the players, to examine the possibilities that the team had. Instead, they continued to rag on Dan Snyder, who hasn't played a single down for the team this year. They looked at Joe Gibbs and forgot about three Lombardi's and went straight to the Geritol and Social Security jokes.

Well, better late than never. Come on, everyone and jump in. Just one thing; Lenny, Peter, if you do join the pool party, just leave your shirts on.

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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.