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Need to Know: 5 focal points during the Redskins' rookie minicamp

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Need to Know: 5 focal points during the Redskins' rookie minicamp

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, May 16, 11 days before the start of OTAs. Nickel coverage The Redskins’ rookie minicamp gets underway today; the media will be able to watch on Saturday. Here are five things I’ll be looking for:

Who returns punts and kicks? This never was resolved last year and among the players signed and drafted so far, none is an obvious candidate. They probably won’t do much more than just catch kicks but seeing who does that could be the first piece of the puzzle.

Does Spencer Long play center? I’m not sure if they are going to have Long line up in the middle of the line this year. But they could get an idea of what he can do if they do put him at center for this. In particular, they will get an idea of if shotgun/pistol snaps will come easily to him.

What’s Gruden’s on-field demeanor? Is he a yeller? How much individual instruction/attention does he give players? Does he observe the defense at all?

How well does Cody Hoffman move? The 6-4 wide receiver out of Brigham Young is a fan favorite to make the roster. They might be on to something since the receiving corps lacks height and that’s something that Gruden has been known to favor. But he needs to learn how to fight his way off the line and run better routes if he’s going to have a chance.

How is Bashaud Breeland’s game speed? If he had shaved a tenth or so off of his 4.53 time in the 40-yard dash he might have been a first- or second-round draft pick. Players can make up for a lack of great foot speed with smarts. It will be interesting to see how well Breeland anticipates and tracks the ball in the air.

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—It’s been 138 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be 114 days until they play the Texans in the 2014 season opener.

Days until: OTAs 11; Training camp starts 68; Preseason opener Patriots @ Redskins 83

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Report: Redskins to interview former Raiders defensive coordinator

Report: Redskins to interview former Raiders defensive coordinator

The Redskins have set up another interview with a candidate to fill their vacant defensive coordinator position.

According to the Washington Post, Jason Tarver, the defensive coordinator of the Raiders from 2012-2014, will meet with the organization. The date of the interview is not known.

Related: Redskins offensive coordinator resume: Matt Cavanaugh

Before joining the Raiders, Tarver coached in college for five years before the 49ers hired him as a quality control coach. He worked his way up to become the outside linebackers coach, a position he held from 2005-2010. Scot McCloughan was the GM of the 49ers while Tarver was coaching there.

After a year as a defensive coordinator in the college ranks at Stanford, Tarver was hired as the Raiders’ defensive coordinator. He was a defensive assistant for the 2015 49ers and he was out of football last season.

More Redskins: The Redskins week that was

The Redskins have announced interviews with former Browns head coach Mike Pettine and ex-Jaguars coach Gus Bradley. It was reported earlier today that they also will meet with Rob Ryan, most recently the Bills’ defensive coordinator.

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.

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Redskins plan to interview Rob Ryan for defensive coordinator, per report

Redskins plan to interview Rob Ryan for defensive coordinator, per report

Plenty of Redskins fans wanted the team to interview Rex Ryan for defensive coordinator.

Well, a report shows they aren't talking to Rex, but instead, his brother Rob, according to Albert Breer of MMQB

Rex Ryan's track record as a defensive coordinator is very impressive.

Rob Ryan's track record as a defensive coordinator is, uh, less impressive. 

In 12 seasons as a coordinator, first in Oakland and then with Cleveland, Dallas and New Orleans, Rob Ryan has two Top 5 finishes in yards allowed. He also has finished 31st out of 32 teams in the league in yards allowed three times.

Below is a chart from Pro Football Reference showing his defensive ranks from 2004 when he became coordinator in Oakland all the way through his last job as a coordinator in New Orleans in 2015.

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The results aren't pretty.

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

It should be noted that in 2016, Rob Ryan served as assistant head coach in Buffalo on his brother Rex's staff.

That team's defense finished 19th in yards allowed. 

Gus Bradley and Mike Pettine have interviewed with the Redskins for their vacant defensive coordinator opening.

Washington is also reported to have reached out to Wade Phillips, who took the same position with the Rams, and Steve Wilks, who took the same position with the Carolina Panthers. Internally, outside linebackers coach Greg Manusky also seems to be under some consideration for the position, and a report last week linked former 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula with the Washington defense.

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