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Need to Know: Redskins' O-line need may depend on last year's picks

Need to Know: Redskins' O-line need may depend on last year's picks

INDIANAPOLIS—Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, February 18, 20 days before the Washington Redskins and the rest of the NFL start free agency.

Question of the day

While I’m here at the NFL Combine this week, I’m going to change it up a bit. I’m going to pose the question each morning centered around the draft and the position group that will be talking to the media on that day. You can find the daily schedule here. Up today, the offensive line.

Will the Redskins draft offensive linemen early and often?

Although just how bad off the Redskins’ offensive line is going into the offseason is a matter for debate, there is no question that the unit needs to be improved. The debate is between those who think it’s mediocre and those who think it’s awful.

Since new general manager Scot McCloughan is committed to building through the draft, any improvement over the players they currently have on the roster is likely to come from there.

So will the Redskins go hog wild, pardon the pun, drafting offensive linemen when the draft gets underway on April 30?

It seems unlikely that they will start on the O-line with their first pick. There isn’t an offensive linemen who would represent good value with the fifth overall pick out there. McCloughan is going to take the best available player at that spot and he won’t reach even if he perceives a need on the line.

As Mike Manock noted in a conference call yesterday, a lot may depend on what McCloughan thinks of Spencer Long and Morgan Moses. They were drafted in the third round last year and if the GM thinks that they can form the right side of the offensive line sooner rather than later, the line will drop down the list of needs.

Even if the Redskins want to add some offensive linemen, it may be tough to get the bigger bodies that McCloughan prefers. As noted here a few weeks ago, this draft is short on quality offensive linemen that weigh 320 or more pounds. Supply and demand will limit

Still, they will be doing their due diligence with the offensive linemen here. Even if Moses and Long are penciled in as starters, the team will need some depth to replace the inevitable departures.

So while I wouldn’t look for the Redskins to make a run on O-linemen, they will hope to get one or two big bodies to develop and keep a ready supply of young talent available for when the need arises.

Timeline

—It’s been 52 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 207 days until they play another one.

Days until: NFL free agency starts 20; Redskins offseason workouts start 61; 2015 NFL Draft 71

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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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.