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Redskins-Saints First Take

Redskins-Saints First Take

The Washington Redskins have their work cut out for them on Sunday.

The New Orleans Saints come marching in to FedEx Field fresh off of a 24-20 win over Tampa Bay. The Saints scored on a 42-yard pass from Drew Brees to Reggie Bush midway through the fourth quarter to take the lead and they held on when linebacker Scott Fujita spiked a late Bucs rally with an interception at the New Orleans 20 with about 40 seconds left.

Brees and Bush were the top offensive stars for the winning team and they are the players that the Redskins will have to slow down to win the game. Brees averaged well over 10 yards per pass attempt, going 23 for 32 for 343 yards and three touchdowns. Bush caught eight of those passes for 112 yards and he had 14 rushing attempts for another 51.

A little side note here: Many Redskins fans look at Brees with envious eyes, wishing that the Skins had a young veteran quarterback who could pass for over 300 yards in a win and have it be nothing out of the ordinary. Perhaps, then, they might be well served to display a bit more patience with Jason Campbell. After three years and 27 starts for the Chargers he was mediocre and seemed to be regressing. The Chargers stuck with him, perhaps against their will—an extended holdout prevented Phillip Rivers from competing for the job—and they were rewarded with a breakout season in 2004, his fourth year in the NFL. Jason Campbell came into his fourth NFL season with 21 starts on his resume.

The New Orleans defense was good but not dominant. Tampa Bay racked up 352 yards, getting good production on the ground out of Earnest Graham (10 carries for 91 yards) and Warrick Dunn (9 for 54). Jeff Garcia was not very efficient, needing 41 attempts to get 221 yards. He was sacked twice.

You can't always tell much from one game, but on first look, it appears that the Redskins will have to post a score in the 20's in order to win on Sunday. For an offense that isn't quite there yet, that will be tough to do.

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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.