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Need to Know: Redskins Park quick hits--Ex-QB Gruden couldn't slide either

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Need to Know: Redskins Park quick hits--Ex-QB Gruden couldn't slide either

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, August 21, two days before the Redskins play their third preseason game against the Ravens.

Redskins Park quick hits

The buzz from Redskins Park on Wednesday:

—There never was much of a competition but Keenan Robinson has won the job to succeed London Fletcher at Mike linebacker. “He’s the first team Mike linebacker for sure,” Redskins coach Jay Gruden said of Robinson. “He’s done a great job, he’s flying around, and so far he’s done nothing to relinquish that.”

Chris Thompson got back to practice but Gruden did not sound too bullish on his prospects of playing against the Ravens. "Chris Thompson was limited; he went in individual drills only,” said Gruden. “Still looked a little tentative on it but he was doing it which was a good start, but he's got a little ways to go.” If Thompson missed the Ravens game his shot at a roster spot would come down to the fourth and final preseason game in Tampa Bay.

—Gruden jokingly lamented that the new illegal contact emphasis came after he was only responsible for the offensive side of the ball as the coordinator in Cincinnati. “Being an offensive coordinator the last three years, the rule [illegal contact] has always been in place,” he said. “I don’t know why they didn’t call it the last three years when I was an Offensive Coordinator.”

—The coach especially didn’t like the two false starts called against Robert Griffin III. On the press conference podium he tried to demonstrate how difficult it was to yell “hut!” loud enough to be heard in noisy stadium you almost had to bob your head. “That to me was a little insane.”

—Gruden was on something of a comic roll. Asked if he knew how to slide when he played quarterback (Louisville and the Arena League), he laughed and said, ““No. I usually just got killed. That's why I limp a lot.”

—Leonard Hankerson doesn’t think he’ll play in any of the preseason games. He thinks he’ll be ready to come off of the PUP list in two weeks but final cuts are nine days away. The odds that he will start the season on the PUP list, which would put him on the shelf for a minimum of six weeks, seem pretty strong.

—Gruden said that Jason Hatcher was good to go for his Redskins debut in Baltimore. “Yeah, he did practice and team drills today,” he said. “He’s fired up and ready to go. He looked good today. So, he’s going to play against Baltimore and we’re excited to see him in his first action as a Redskin.”

If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. I'll answer all questions as soon as I can get to them. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 11:00 a.m.; Player availability and Jay Gruden news conference after practice (approx. 1:00).

—It’s been 235 days since the Redskins played a game; in 17 days they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.

Days until: Final cuts 9; Home opener vs. Jaguars 24; Redskins @ Eagles 31

In case you missed it

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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.

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Award Tour: JP & Tandler select Redskins Offensive Player of the Year

Award Tour: JP & Tandler select Redskins Offensive Player of the Year

With the 2017 offseason about to kick into high gear, Redskins Insiders JP Finlay and Rich Tandler are going to take one last look at 2016 in the coming days. That’s right, it’s time to hand out awards for Coach of the Year, Special Teams Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year.

We’ve picked our top coaches and the Special Teams. and defensive POY’s. Today we select the Offensive Player of the Year.

Tandler: I don’t see any need to overthink this. The Redskins set a team record for total offensive yards in a season and it was mostly due to the play of Kirk Cousins. He shattered his own team records in nearly every major passing stat. He was a steady hand as the line underwent some turmoil with the suspension of Trent Williams and injury situations. His primary running backs were a fumble-prone second-year player and an undrafted rookie. The team’s best pass catcher, tight end Jordan Reed, missed four games with injuries and he was obviously hampered by a shoulder injury in a few others. Cousins did slump towards the end of the season and the interception he threw late in the season finale killed off the Redskins’ playoff chances. But he was the one primarily responsible for the team posting winning record in consecutive seasons for the first time in nearly 20 years.

More Redskins: Early first-round draft possibilities

Finlay: I kinda wanted to overthink this but Tandler yelled at me. DeSean Jackson was arguably the Redskins best threat, and Pierre Garçon was the most dependable player on the team. Jordan Reed showed how great he can be, but injuries limited his performance. In the end, the award goes to Kirk Cousins. It has to. The guy nearly threw for 5,000 yards and he broke his own passing record that he set last season. What happens before the March 1 franchise deadline not withstanding, Cousins was the 'Skins best offensive player in 2016.

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