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Need to Know: Five offensive players with work to do during Redskins OTAs

Need to Know: Five offensive players with work to do during Redskins OTAs

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, May 22, four days before the Washington Redskins start OTAs.

Nickel coverage

OTAs get underway on Tuesday at Redskins Park. Here are five offensive players who will have a lot at stake during this phase of the offseason.

—G Chris Chester—He had Spencer Long breathing down his neck all last year and now Arie Kouandjio could provide a little extra heat on him. At 32 with a salary cap number north of $4 million and the team switching to running scheme geared towards power blocking, Chester will have to adapt quickly.

—WR Andre Roberts—Last year Roberts was a free agent disappointment. It wasn’t all his fault since they brought in DeSean Jackson after signing him, decreasing his role. Still, he caught just 36 passes and dropped seven. The Redskins are very high on fourth-round pick Jamison Crowder, who does what Roberts does—plays slot receiver and returns punts and kickoffs.

—G Josh LeRibeus—When you were drafted by the guy who was around two regime changes ago (Mike Shanahan), have spent three years as a backup and your team spends third- and fourth-round picks on players at your position in consecutive drafts you should start feeling uncomfortable. If LeRibeus is going to hang on it starts with being in top shape for OTAs and making a solid impression.

—WR Ryan Grant—He’s not in any danger of being cut but his situation is similar to that of LeRibeus in that he was picked by the old guy (Bruce Allen) and new guy Scot McCloughan grabbed two wide receivers, Crowder and Evan Spencer, in this year’s draft. Grant was taken as something of a project who would improve over the years but he needs to take some big strides or the two rookies could pass him on the depth chart.

—TE Jordan Reed—Like Grant he’s not going anywhere and Reed is probably not in any danger of losing his starting job. But he desperately needs to stay on the field or the organization will start planning for a long-term future without him. Reed needs to avoid the nagging injuries that have kept him sidelined during offseasons and training camps in the past so that Gruden and McCloughan have some confidence in him.

Timeline

—It’s been 145 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 114 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Redskins minicamp starts 25; Redskins training camp starts 69; Thursday night Redskins @ Giants 125

If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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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.