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GameBlog vs. Bucs--Pregame

GameBlog vs. Bucs--Pregame

You can reach me by email at WarpathInsiders@comcast.net

Like many NFL teams, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers put out a large book of information for use by the media in preparation for their coverage of each game. The one for this week’s game against the Redskins is about 200 pages of 8.5 X 11 paper, spiral bound and packed with data—stats, player and coach profiles and the like.

Some of the stats are interesting, some not so much. Under “Team Notes” you can find out, for example, that Joey Galloway is tied for the lead among NFL receivers for the most touchdown receptions since December 5, 2004. He and Marvin Harrison each have 11 TD catches in that time span. Drew Bennett and Chad Johnson are right on their heels for this coveted record with 10 each. I can just seen it now—Galloway catches a touchdown pass, the game stops, fireworks go off and the scoreboard flashes the word that Galloway is now in sole possession of first place for touchdown catches since 12/5/04. The ball immediately is shipped off to Canton, Ohio.

Right below that, you discover that Jon Gruden has coached 10 receivers who have amassed 500 or more career catches. You might think, wow, ol’ Chucky has a way with wideouts. That’s until you read on and find out that the list of 10 includes the likes of Art Monk, who (much to the chagrin of many) played his last games in an Eagle uniform in 1995, when Gruden was the offensive coordinator. Monk got the last six of his 940 career catches in three games under Gruden’s watch so that “counts” as one of his 10. So does Jerry Rice, who at least had the whole 2001 season with Gruden.

Back to Galloway--who just joined Gruden’s 500 club—he’s the one Buc who scares you offensively. With their unproductive running game and an inexperienced Chris Simms at quarterback, Tampa Bay is unlikely to be able to crank out many long drives. However, the bugaboo of the Washington defense is giving up the long play (recall Philly’s lone TD last week) and that’s Galloway’s specialty. He has TD catches of 78 and 50 yards in the past two weeks. The big fear is that the Redskins will play exactly the kind of game they want for 55 minutes, lead by six and then see Simms and Galloway catch lighting in a bottle for the third week in a row and the Bucs will steal a win.

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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.