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Taylor deal a short-term fix

Taylor deal a short-term fix

I don't usually like to do pull quotes from something I wrote just a few hours ago, but I'll make an exception in this case:

From this article posted today a 4:16 PM EDT:

Trading for Jason Taylor and giving up a conditional fifth-round pick and having him work his contract to a cap-friendly deal that would contain a big roster bonus to be paid on opening day of 2009 would be OK. Giving up a second-rounder and having to work around his $8.1 million salary this year, making him a very expensive one-year rental, would be dumb.

The deal that went down this evening was the "dumb" deal and then some. The Washington Redskins gave up an '09 second and a '10 sixth for the right to Taylor's contract as is.

The only potential mitigating difference here is that Vinny Cerrato is "100 percent confident he'll play more than one year." There's some reason to believe that this is the case as, according to Jason LaCanfora, the relationship between Cerrato and Taylor's agent Gary Wichard is "uncommonly close" (not that there's anything wrong with that).

So, if Taylor plays for two or three years, the deal starts to make a little more sense—but only a little. A second is a lot to give up for a short-term player and by any definition two or three years is short term.

The trade does improve the defense, immediately and considerably. Taylor was the league's defensive MVP just two years ago and he immediately becomes the team's best defensive linemen, perhaps their best overall player. For the first time in years the Redskins will line up bookend defensive ends, both of whom should post double-digit sacks. Andre Carter posted 10.5 sacks in 2007.

It's the kind of deal that would be great for a team that is just a player away from being a legit Super Bowl contender. Are the Redskins, a playoff team two of the past three years, that sort of team?

If not for a couple of factors like a head coach and a quarterback who are going to be doing some on-the-job learning, maybe. By Zorn's own admission, it's going to take Jason Campbell a few years to master his version of the West Coast offense. Jason Taylor won't be playing here in a few years and neither will the second-round talent that the Redskins gave up to obtain him.

Initially, the news that the Redskins had pulled the trigger on this trade surprised me. It seemed like they were changing their ways and using draft picks on college players instead of dealing them for short term quick fixes.

But then I remembered all the way back to April when Cerrato had an offer of at least one first-round pick and possibly two for Chad Johnson. They were saved from that one by the Bengals insistence that they were not going to trade away Johnson.

The Dolphins weren't inclined to save the Redskins from themselves on this occasion.

Maybe Taylor will play for three seasons, post 35 sacks, and be a key to a couple of deep playoff runs. Or he may provide a few, very expensive thrills before riding off into the sunset after the 2009 season.

The Redskins are all in betting the former.

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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.