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Flashback Saturday: Skins and fans invade NYC

Flashback Saturday: Skins and fans invade NYC

You're probably going to see "Polo Grounds" as the venue for this game and immediately your eyes will glaze over. But if you'll stick with it, you'll find a great story of a bunch of fans so geeked about their new team that droves of them got on a train and went to battle with them in New York City. From the pages of The Redskins From A to Z:

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Polo Grounds--You often hear of a team invading a city for a road game, and it's usually hyperbole, but that's exactly what the Redskins did to New York in the first trip the Washington Redskins made to the Big Apple in 1937. Between ten and twelve thousand fans boarded trains at Union Station to make the trek to the Polo Grounds to watch the two teams battle for the Eastern Conference title on the last day of the regular season. A 150-piece marching band made the trek as well. On arrival, owner George Preston Marshall led an impromptu parade down Seventh Avenue to Columbus Circle. The fans were marching along in step, singing the national capital's new anthem, Hail to the Redskins.

Cliff Battles set the tone, leading the way on a grinding, 83-yard drive that he ended with a two-yard touchdown run. Later in the first, he galloped around left end for 75 yards to the Giants' five. Two plays later, Battles scored again and it was 14-0. A second-quarter drive started at midfield and ended when Max Krause scored on an up-the-middle run from five yards out.

A break got the Giants on the scoreboard as one of their passes bounced off of Erny Pinckert's hand and into the arms of the Giants' Ward Cuff, who scampered 45 yards for the Giants' first score. A second Giants touchdown a few minutes later tied it up and had the Redskins' and their traveling faithful worried. The Giants, after all, had allowed just 60 points all season.

But that didn't stop Sammy Baugh, Battles, and company. Ed Justice was wide open on a 48-yard TD pass and, early in the fourth quarter, got more breathing room when Wayne Milner blocked a Giants' punt and fell on the ball in the end zone to make it 35-14.

The Skins weren't done yet. Battles intercepted a long pass at the Washington 20, broke a couple of tackles, reversed his field twice, cut back and didn't stop until he ran out of gas and was caught from behind at the New York one. Riley Smith got the TD on the next play and, after Ray Flaherty emptied the bench, the Redskins scored once more on a Max Krause TD run of five yards. They were headed to Chicago to play the Bears for the NFL title

The Redskins' fans in the Polo Grounds stormed the field, tearing down the goal posts and reveling long after the final gun. Another gathering of 5,000 greeted the Redskins at Union Station when the trains arrived back in Washington.

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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.