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Need to Know: Shanahan praises Redskins' defense

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Need to Know: Shanahan praises Redskins' defense

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, October 15, five days before the Washington Redskins play the Chicago Bears at FedEx Field.

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Five quotes and notes from Mike Shanahan’s Monday news conference:

Shanahan was asked about the punt that bounced off of the legs of a Cowboys player and was awarded back to Dallas despite the fact that the Redskins pounced on the ball. The officials ruled that the player had been blocked into the ball so it’s al though he had not touched it. By the way, former NFL official Mike Pereira told Grant Paulsen of WFAN that he also thought it should have been the Redskins’ ball.

I saw it. It was a missed call. I saw it during the game, but if somebody makes a call incorrectly and that’s what they see, you can’t challenge it. So it’s just a missed call. We should have had the ball there.

Shanahan on the Redskins’ defense, which allowed a season-low 213 yards to the Cowboys.

I think I shared with you that I was very pleased with our defense. I thought it was their best game of the year by far. Any time you have that type of run defense and you go against a quarterback that’s had a lot of success and you play at that level, you feel very good. The defense gave us many opportunities to win that football game, but we didn’t take advantage of it offensively or [on] special teams. In order to win those games, you’ve got to play good in all phases, especially on the road.

David Amerson suffered a concussion on a special teams play, a kickoff that ended up being a 90-yard return for Dwayne Harris. Shanahan thinks that Amerson could have avoided the big hit and made a tackle on the play:

Well, it was definitely helmet-to-helmet. David, of course in that position, he’s going to learn in time that he’s got to hit that hole a little bit harder. He can’t wait. He’s got an excellent opportunity to go in there and make the play and that’s just a guy with a little inexperience. Next time he’s in that position, he’ll make the tackle.

On Robert Griffin III running more:

I think everybody saw that Robert did look more comfortable running the ball, making plays out of sequence. Really it’s a credit to him making some of those plays, but collectively we’ve got to get better as a team. Obviously the more he can do the better off we’ll be.

On losing long snapper Nick Sundberg for the season:

Anytime you lose a guy that you count on, it takes some work, takes some timing. If it’s on extra points and field goals, if it’s on punts, it does take some time. There’s a learning process that goes with it.


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Stat of the day

—Alfred Morris is on pace to have 230 rushing attempts this season. He had 335 attempts in 2012.

Timeline

—Days until: Bears @ Redskins 5; Redskins @ Broncos 12; Chargers @ Redskins 19

—Today’s schedule: Off day, no availability                                                                     

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Griffin sharper running, passing needs work

@Rich_TandlerCSN on Twitter
Been covering Shanahan since he got to DC, never remember him talking about a departed #Redskins player like this: http://t.co/JLlDgarToT

— Rich Tandler (@Rich_TandlerCSN) October 15, 2013

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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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Need to Know: An early look at first-round draft possibilities for the Redskins

Need to Know: An early look at first-round draft possibilities for the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, January 17, 100 days before the NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL franchise tag deadline 44
NFL free agency starts 52
First Sunday of 2017 season 237

A six pack of potential first-round draft picks for the Redskins

We’re at a nice, round 100 days until the NFL draft starts. The deadline for underclassmen to declare has passed and the first of the postseason all-star events, the East-West Shrine game, is starting up this week. It’s time to look at some possibilities for the Redskins’ first-round draft pick, which is No. 17 overall.

We’re still not sure of what defensive scheme the Redskins will run this year but it’s likely that they could fit Stanford DE Solomon Thomas into it. He’s not the classic edge rusher type but he is big (6-2, 275), violent and he can collapse the pocket.

—Michigan S Jabrill Peppers is a top-five pick according to one NFC executive but it’s a little early to put him up that high. He’s a versatile defender and he has drawn comparisons to Troy Polamalu, Charles Woodson, and Tyrann Mathieu. If he’s there at 17 the Redskins might find it hard to resist pulling the trigger.

There has been very early buzz about the Redskins having some interest in Michigan State DL Malik McDowell. He can play end in a 3-4 front or tackle in a 4-3 and provide disruption and pass rush from either spot. The 6-6, 276-lb. McDowell was a top-five prospect on many early boards but he stock has slipped to the point where he could be available for the Redskins.

The upgrade the Redskins are looking for at inside linebacker could be Florida ILB Jarrad Davis. He’s tough, tenacious, smart, and instinctive. The most important part of the combine for him won’t be his 40 time or bench press, it will be the medicals. He has missed some games with assorted injures including a torn meniscus in 2014.

Another flexible linebacker who could help inside in a 3-4 or outside in a 4-3 is Vanderbilt LG Zach Cunningham. At 6-3, 230 he plays very well in space and he shows a great ability to take on blockers. He needs work on tackling and pass rushing techniques but he has the tools to be an impact defender very quickly.

Although a defender would be a popular and logical pick here, the Redskins could go off script. After the 2015 draft, it was reported that Scot McCloughan might have taken Todd Gurley if he had been able to trade back from No. 5 overall to a little later in the first round. So I think it would be a mistake to dismiss the possibility of him going with an offensive skill player such as Florida State RB Dalvin Cook if he’s on the board and McCloughan has him rated as the best available player.

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In case you missed it

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.