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Gruden really does prefer taller pass targets

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Gruden really does prefer taller pass targets

We have heard that when he was the offensive coordinator of the Bengals, Jay Gruden liked to employ tall receivers. Almost any discussion of a potential Redskins free agent or draft target starts with “how tall is he”?

Sometimes these “preference” are exaggerated by the presence of one tall player. Someone might look at the 6-4 A. J. Green and say, yeah, Gruden likes big guys. But one website decided to put a measuring stick to the question.

Instead of just looking at who has a “WR” or “TE” or “RB” next to his name and averaging out their heights, Chase Stuart of FootballPerspective.com took figuring out how tall a receiving corps is at step further. Here’s what he did:
I calculated the average receiving height of each team during the 2013 NFL season by taking a weighted average of the height of each player on each team, weighted by their percentage of team receiving yards. For example, Jeffery caught 31.9% of all Chicago receiving yards, so his 76 inches counts for 31.9% of Chicago’s average height.  Bennett gained 17.1% of the team’s receiving yards, so his 79 inches counts for 17.1% of Chicago’s average height, and so on.
That way, a 6-5 receiver who rarely gets targeted doesn’t skew the picture of the group as a whole.

The tallest receiving group belonged to the Bears at a weighted averaged of 75.9 inches. Two 6-4 receivers, Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall, accounted for just over 60 percent of the Bears’ receiving yards and 6-6 tight end Martellus Bennett accounted for 17 percent.

What about Gruden’s Bengals? They came in sixth with a weighted average of 74.3 inches. Green had 33 percent of their receiving yards and 6-1 wide receiver Marvin Jones had 16.5 percent. They had to overcome the “handicap” of their third-leading receiver being running back Giovani Bernard, who stands at 5-9.

If Gruden wants his Redskins to mirror the Bengals he has some work to do. The 2013 Redskins were 29th in weighted height of their receivers at 72.4 inches. Pierre Garçon, who accounted for 33.2 percent of the team’s receiving yards, is 6-0. Jordan Reed, at 6-3 with 12.3 percent of the receiving yards, pulls the average up a bit but the 5-10 Santana Moss (11.1 percent) drags it back down.

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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast - A.J. Francis talks Jay Gruden, Greg Manusky and Kirk Cousins

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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast - A.J. Francis talks Jay Gruden, Greg Manusky and Kirk Cousins

Redskins defensive lineman A.J. Francis opens up to JP Finlay on what it's like to play for Jay Gruden, his pick for defensive coordinator, and the latest on Kirk Cousins' contract.

Listen below, and if you'd like to hear more from Francis, check out his pro wrestling podcast Jobbing Out Show here

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Redskins set to interview new defensive coordinator candidate in Dennis Thurman, per report

Redskins set to interview new defensive coordinator candidate in Dennis Thurman, per report

The Redskins have conducted interviews with a number of candidates at defensive coordinator, but a new name emerged Thursday morning. 

Thurman played cornerback in the NFL for nine years from 1978 to 1986, recording 36 career interceptions in 137 games. The bulk of his playing career was spent with the Dallas Cowboys, but he played his final season with the then St. Louis Rams. 

In coaching since 1988, Thurman's coaching career started working with the secondary for the Cardinals before an eight-year run at his alma mater, Southern Cal. From there, Thurman came back to the pros, joining the Ravens coaching staff in 2002 working under Rex Ryan. In 2008, Thurman moved on with Ryan to the New York Jets, and in 2013, was named Jets defensive coordinator In 2014, he went to Buffalo with Ryan to serve as their defensive coordinator when Ryan was named head coach.

In four seasons as a coordinator, two in New York, two in Buffalo, Thurman's defenses ranked no worse than 19th, per Pro Football Reference.

A football lifer like Thurman likely has connections all over the league, but it's interesting to note he has worked with new Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn since 2009. The two were on staffs both with the Jets and the Bills. Another Redskins coordinator candidate Gus Bradley has often been linked with Lynn, though the two have never been on the same staff.

Meeting with Thurman will satisfy the NFL's guidelines to interview minority candidates for coordinator positions. The Rooney Rule, as it was instituted, requires NFL teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching jobs, but only suggests that teams extend the practice to coordinator positions. Washington had set an interview with Carolina's Steve Wilks, but then he was promoted internally to be the Panthers defensive coordinator and the meeting never took place. 

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!