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Could Redskins’ Kirk Cousins be ‘better than any other young QB’?

Could Redskins’ Kirk Cousins be ‘better than any other young QB’?

Kirk Cousins has had a good nine-plus months. Since the end of August, when he was named the Redskins starting quarterback, he has set several team records, led his team to a division title, gone viral with his “You like that!” outburst after leading the biggest comeback victory in team history and signed a contract that guarantees him a $19.95 million salary for 2016.

But during that time span did he somehow go from being a backup with an uncertain future do being the best young quarterback in the game? This is what an assistant coach who spoke to Mike Freeman of the Bleacher Report said about it:

"It's possible we will look back maybe 10 years from now and say Kirk Cousins was better than Andrew Luck or almost any other young quarterback today. Maybe better than Russell Wilson, as well. I would have never thought that a year ago—mainly because I feel like a good quarterback there didn't have the organizational support. That owner [is not good], but now he seems to be staying out of the way. His coach believes in him, and that offense is perfect for him. He's got weapons and an improving defense. He may shock a lot of people in the end."

Freeman said that “other assistant coaches” have told him the same thing.

What should be made clear here is that the assistant coach is projecting. He’s not saying that Cousins is better than Wilson, who has a Super Bowl ring, and Luck, who has led his team to a conference title game, right now. He’s saying that Cousins has the weapons, the coach, and the organization needed to start on a highly successful run that would vault him past Wilson, Luck and, presumable, Derek Carr, Cam Newton, and other quarterbacks under the age of 30.

While I’m skeptical that in 2026 we will look back at the previous decade and view Cousins as the top QB in that time span I can’t rule it out, either. I mean, four years ago if you would have said that Wilson would have multiple Super Bowl appearances and Robert Griffin III would be battling for the job in Cleveland after having been cut loose by the Redskins I would have said you were crazy.

We will see how it all unfolds.

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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.