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Somebody Blinked

Somebody Blinked

Somebody Blinked

It ain’t over until it’s over. And it was over. . .until it wasn’t.

The CBA negotiations have gone into overtime.

Sometime between this morning, when the NFL announced that the owners had voted unanimously to break off talks with the NFL Players Association and about 5:00 this evening, when the NFL announced that the free agency period would be delayed for three days in order for further talks with the NFLPA to take place, something happened.

Somebody blinked.

Earlier in the day, it appeared that virtually everyone involved was standing at the door of his own personal hell and was willing to walk through that door and into the teeth of whatever was awaiting them. For some, like the Redskins Dan Snyder, it was cap hell. For the players it was the certainty of a bloodbath of veterans getting cut and replaced by minimum-wage rookies and the uncertainty of a free agent market skewed by rules designed as poison pills to prevent things from ever getting to that point. For other owners, the so-called small-market teams, it was the prospect of a 2007 season without a salary cap, knowing that they wouldn’t possibly be able to keep up with the teams with deeper pockets. For Paul Tagliabue, it was facing going into retirement in a few years with the legacy of leaving with scorched earth behind him. And Gene Upshaw, while he’s managed labor peace well, is looking at again stepping into an arena where he’s not been very successful. He’s 0-2 in games of brinksmanship with the NFL owners as his union was routed in both league players strikes in 1982 and 1987.

So, standing at the precipice, somebody got a bit wobbly. The brave talk, the unanimous votes, the “we’ll play it out and see what happens” rhetoric of earlier in the day and the week suddenly rang hallow in someone’s mind. It was all false bravado. That somebody said, I can’t possibly be this dumb, can I? I can’t let this happen.

And he blinked.

Then he went to the phone and calls were made and all of a sudden things that appeared to be etched in stone in the morning suddenly transformed into mere lines in the sand. The start of free agency was delayed even though both sides were adamant that it would not be just a couple of days ago.

For both sides to have agreed to the delay, someone must have put a magic number out there, one that was, at the very least, good enough to the other side to jump start talks that were as dead as dead could be. That magic number must have represented enough movement for the other side to say, hey, I didn’t really want to go through that door anyway. Couldn’t hurt to sit down and talk a few more days, could it? Because I’m not really sure what I was going to do tomorrow when all the stuff hit the fan, anyway.

So the millionaire players and the billionaire owners will take another three days—or maybe longer, who knows--to try to decide how to split up this huge pile of money.

And either somebody will blink one last time and a deal will be done or all of the parties involved will return to the gates of hell and pass through them.

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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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