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Need to Know: Are yardage stats for losers like Haslett says?

Need to Know: Are yardage stats for losers like Haslett says?

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, February 15, four days before the start of the NFL Combine.

Nickel coverage

Earlier this week, Jim Haslett told ESPN 980 that he didn’t pay much attention to the number of yards his defense gave up. “That’s kind of for losers,” he said. Let’s put that to the test by taking a look back through Redskins history. Here are the five (plus three) Redskins teams who have ranked the highest in yards given up since the NFL merger and how those teams fared during the season.

1974, ranked 2nd—George Allen’s team went 10-4 and lost to the Rams I the first round of the playoffs. The defense featured Pro Bowl seasons by Hall of Famers Chris Hanburger and Ken Houston and a part-time farewell season for Deacon Jones.

1985, ranked 3rd—Under Joe Gibbs, this team wen 10-6 and missed the playoffs on tiebreakers. No Redskins defenders made the Pro Bowl even through Charles Mann (14.5) and Dexter Manley (15) combined for 29.5 sacks. Darrell Green was also in his prime.

1991, ranked 3rd—I’m sure I don’t have to tell you much about this team, probably the best in Redskins history. Green and Mann were among the eight Redskins Pro Bowlers. To be sure, it wasn’t all about the defensive yardage stat. They led the league in yards gained, turnover ratio, point differential and yardage differential.

2004, ranked 3rd—In the first year of Gibbs 2.0 the Redskins went 6-10 and finished well out of the playoffs. Gregg Williams was in charge of the defense and his unit got the job done in spite of having only one member selected to the Pro Bowl, linebacker Marcus Washington.

The Redskins of 1971 (lost first round of playoffs), 1972 (lost Super bowl), 1982 (won Super Bowl), 2000 (8-8, no playoffs), 2008 (8-8, no playoffs), all finished ranked 4th in the NFL in yards given up. The three teams that made the playoffs finished ninth or better in turnover ratio; the two 8-8 teams finished 16th and 17th in that category.

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Timeline

—It’s been 48 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 204 days until they play another one.

—Days until: NFL Combine 4; NFL Free agency starts 24; Offseason workouts start 51; NFL Draft 82

In case you missed it

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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.