Quick Links

Saturday’s game vs. Bills—first look

Saturday’s game vs. Bills—first look

The Washington Redskins have left behind the glow of Canton and the combined QB rating of 147.2 that Campbell, Collins, Brennan and Devine laid on the Colts' scrubs. They now turn their attention to their Saturday night preseason game against the Buffalo Bills.

As you are all sophisticated Redskins fans, you know that teams do not prepare for August games the way that they do for games played in September. There will be no endless film study to determine tendencies or to find a tell in a player's stance. None of the backup quarterbacks will be running around with a scout team imitating Trent Edwards or (shudder) J. P. Losman (that could do permanent damage).

Instead, the Redskins will work on their plays and on their defensive alignments, paying scant attention to how Dick Jauron and his coaching staff do the same.

Part of the game planning is planning who will play and how much. There will be a few variations from what we saw on Sunday but since this really is the second playing of their first preseason game (like the 31 other NFL teams they have four to go), don't expect a whole lot of difference.

It looks like the first team offense is on the same pattern as they were last Sunday. They'll go one series, two if that first one is brief due to either ineffectiveness or, as happened against the Colts, exceptional efficiency (a three-play touchdown drive).

Todd Collins will then take the wheel for the rest of the first half. He hopes he can hold onto it given that he will be protected by an offensive line that is makeshift even by preseason standards. Injuries to Stephon Heyer (knee) and Todd Wade (ankle), the two primary backups at tackle, have forced the patchwork. Forming the wall for Collins with be, from left to right, Chad Reinhardt, Tavares Washington, Justin Geisinger, Jason Fabini, and Devin Clark.

The unit has a combined 145 games of NFL playing experience, all of them belonging to Fabini.

Collins likely will be doing a lot of handing off to Marcus Mason and Rock Cartwright, who again will carry the load all game long at running back.

On the defensive side of the ball, the crowd at FedEx Field should be treated to the sight of Jason Taylor making his Redskins debut. Don't be in line getting a hot dog or beer, however; his workload will consist of about a half a dozen plays. London Fletcher will participate about the same number of snaps.

The biggest difference from the HOF game will be that punter Derrick Frost will get his turn to audition for his job. Durant Brooks handled all of the punting and holding duties against Indy and this is Frosty's game.

Join me for a live blog of Saturday's preseason game. Go here for details.

Quick Links

#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

Quick Links

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.