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Dallas final thoughts

Dallas final thoughts

I could be wrong—I have been before and I will be again—but I really think that the Redskins have a chance of beating Dallas today. I'm not talking about just your generic "on any given Sunday" chance, but a real "we have arrived and we're going to be a force in this division" chance.

Dealing with Marion Barber will be key. He's going to bounce off of the first tackler with frequency, but the Skins will have to make sure that there's a gang around him to minimize the yardage he picks up after that first contact. Getting a gang around him also could push him to wear down towards the end of the game. Last week was an exception, but he generally averages considerably fewer yards per carry when he gets past 18 or 20 carries than he does earlier in the game. He's as tough as a five-dollar steak, but if the defense pounds on him for the first three quarters of play he won't be quite as fierce at the end of the game.

The Dallas pass rush is another problem for the Redskins. They will get their share of sacks and that's fine as long as the ball stays in Jason Campbell's hand. All turnovers are not created equal. An interception on a deep pass isn't that bad, depending on the situation. The sack, strip, and defensive recovery variety of turnover is much worse. Such a play not only flips field position but it represents a breakdown by the entire offensive unit. An offense often plays tentatively after a disaster like that and the defense is emboldened. That's not a recipe for success for the Redskins on the road.

As I said the other day, Campbell will have to continue his growth in Jim Zorn's system and his development as an NFL quarterback if the Redskins are going to pull this one out. It's just asking too much for the Redskins to pound out long, sustained drives all day long. Sure, the line is going to have to block and the receivers are going to have to run their routes and catch. But it's on Campbell to pull the trigger.

Campbell and the Redskins are almost in a no-lose situations. Of the four possible scenarios—blowout loss, close loss, close win, blowout win—only the first one would be considered a disaster and even that, considering the 11-point spread, wouldn't be a huge blow.

If the Redskins go in and play like they have nothing to lose, they should do OK. Judging by what I've seen from the Redskins under Zorn so far, I think that's exactly what they'll do.


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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.