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Orakpo talks remain stalled; what’s Plan B?

Orakpo talks remain stalled; what’s Plan B?

The Redskins’ contract talks with Brian Orakpo remain at a standstill. The team has yet to make their outside linebacker a firm contract offer, according to the Washington Post. The deadline for using the franchise player tag on Orakpo comes this Monday at 4 p.m. and there is no indication that the Redskins are going to use it. That would greatly increase the chances that the Redskins will have to prepare for a future without their leading pass rusher for the last five years.

Although we don’t know what they will do, the best move might be to move Ryan Kerrigan, who was second on the team in sacks last year, from the left outside linebacker to the right side. That would put their best pass rusher on the blindside of right-handed quarterbacks.

Kerrigan would represent a minimal downgrade from Orakpo on that right side, arguably the most important position in a 3-4 defense. The issue would become replacing Kerrigan on the left side.

The only legitimate candidate who the Redskins have under contract at that spot now is second-year player Brandon Jenkins. The staff was very high on him last year but he played sparingly and is very much an unproven commodity.

They also could bring back Rob Jackson and/or Darryl Tapp. Jackson started 14 games on the right side in 2012 when Orakpo was out with an injury. He is good in pass coverage but does not provide much pass pressure. Tapp is solid against the run but he also is limited when it comes to pass rushing.

Another option would be to bring in somebody in free agency or the draft. But premiere pass rusher are expensive in free agency (if they weren’t the Redskins may have locked up Orakpo a long time ago) and, like most years, the draft is not loaded with them.

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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.