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Enemy intel: Early look at the Packers

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Enemy intel: Early look at the Packers

The Redskins weren’t the only team that had some defensive issues in their season opener. The Packers, their opponent on Sunday, did not have a good day defensively in San Francisco.

Colin Kaepernick lit up their secondary for 412 yards passing and three touchdowns. I think Anquan Boldin just caught another pass against them adding to the 13 for 208 yards and one touchdown on Sunday. Tight end Vernon Davis added six catches for 98 yards and two TDs. San Francisco also rushed for 90 yards, although it took them 34 attempts to get there (2.6 average).

Although the defense struggled, the Pack stayed in the game until the end thanks to Aaron Rodgers (21 of 37 for 333 yards, 1 interception, 3 touchdowns) and his stable of receivers. Two of them went over 100 yards, Randall Cobb (7-108) and Jordy Nelson (1-130).

One good thing for the Redskins is that the Packers don’t have a LeSean McCoy to run at the Redskins. A lot of analysts wanted to hand Eddie Lacy the rookie of the year award before the season even started but he picked up just 41 yards on 14 carries against the 49ers. He’s still a good combination of speed and power and the Redskins won’t sleep on him but he’s no Shady.

Thoughts from Green Bay

—Here are some thoughts on the Packers defense from Packer Geeks, a long running blog about the team:
Yes, the defense tried hard and I liked to see that. But like Mike Sherman, who spent 18-20 hours a day working on coaching stuff – sometimes the amount of effort just doesn’t matter if the job is not getting done. Bottom line – our defense was really bad.
—Packers safety Morgan Burnett, the quarterback of the defense, missed the game with a hamstring injury. From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal:
The Packers really, really missed Morgan Burnett in the back end. Colin Kaepernick is that good, but a solid safety would have made a difference on a day when the Packers did not let Kaepernick beat them with his feet.
Burnett’s status for Sunday is undetermined. He did not miss a snap in 2012.

—The Green Bay starting offensive line doesn’t have much of a pedigree. Three of the players were drafted in the fourth round or later, including rookie left tackle David Bakhtiari (4th round) and two are undrafted free agents. Again from the Journal-Sentinal:
Green Bay's front five gave an admirable performance in the Packers' 34-28 Week 1 loss to San Francisco. Facing one of the NFL's top defenses, the line allowed two sacks and helped the Packers roll up 385 total net yards.

"If you play in the league, you play in the league," said Packer center Evan Dietrich-Smith, who went undrafted in 2009. "It's not an 'Oh, I was drafted here' or 'I was drafted there' type of situation.
"If you show up to a camp and you display that you can play in the league, then you're going to play. That's the bottom line. And if you don't, you're going to get cut."

An early preview on that site gives the Packers the advantage at quarterback, receiver, defensive line, secondary, and special teams. The Redskins have the edge at running back and coaching with the offensive line and linebackers being even.

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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.