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Need to Know: Potter gets tepid endorsement

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Need to Know: Potter gets tepid endorsement

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, September 18, four days before the Redskins play the Lions at FedEx Field.

Nickel coverage

1. Penalties and tackling will be other issues covered in the locker room. What we heard on Monday from DeAngelo Hall and London Fletcher and from Mike Shanahan on those subjects was interesting but not particularly enlightening. What we got was interesting but not particularly enlightening. I expect more of the same today.

2. Robert Griffin III addresses the media today and he certainly will be asked about this comment from teammate Pierre Garçon (on ESPN 980 via Dan Steinberg):

“Well, when you’re walking around with a knee brace or playing with a knee brace, obviously it’s slowing you down a little bit,” Garcon said. “It’s just natural. It’s common….I don’t know how much it weighs, exactly, but you always think about it when you have it on there, and it’s a constant reminder. It’s not gonna let you be the guy you are without the knee brace.

3. Don’t be stunned if the Redskins sign a new replacement kicker to replace replacement kicker John Potter if it looks like Kai Forbath won’t be able to go. Mike Shanahan gave a downright frigid endorsement of Potter when asked if he would stick around until they knew what Forbath’s status was. ““It all depends. I’m not really sure at this time,” he said. “I can’t tell you one way or the other exactly what we’re going to do.” Potter missed badly on his only field goal attempt, which was from 50 yards.

4. The last team to make the playoffs after starting 0-2 was the 2008 San Diego Chargers. They won the AFC West at 8-8. The Chargers had to win their last four games to get in and they got the help they needed as Shanahan’s Broncos lost the last three when a win in any one game would have clinched the division. Shanahan was fired after the season. Had Denver won the division, Shanahan would have held onto his job there for a bit longer and who knows who would be coaching the Redskins now.

5. Brandon Meriweather could face a pretty steep fine for his helmet-to-helmet hits on Sunday. With the Patriots in 2010, the last time he started full season, he was hit with a $50,000 fine for a helmet-to-helmet on Ravens tight end Todd Heap. There is no formally designated period of time after which a player gets a clean slate so it’s possible his fine could be escalated. It is not yet known if he will play on Sunday; we should hear more on the status of his concussion from Shanahan this afternoon.

Stat of the day

—Santana Moss’ touchdown on Sunday was his 47th as a Redskin. He has caught 46 TD passes and has one more via a punt return. One more touchdown will tie him with Stephen Davis for the 10th-most career touchdowns in team history.

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Timeline

—Days until: Lions @ Redskins 4; Redskins @ Raiders 11; Redskins @ Cowboys 25

—Today’s schedule: Player availability in locker room 11:15; Practice 1:00 (closed to media after first 30 minutes); Robert Griffin III and Mike Shanahan news conferences after practice (approx. 3:00; streamed on CSNwashington.com)

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: 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.