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TGIO--Thank God It's Over

TGIO--Thank God It's Over

You can reach Rich Tandler by email at WarpathInsiders@comcast.net

Some day we’ll look back on this and it will all seem funny.

--Bruce Springsteen

He didn’t hesitate.

When a reporter asked Joe Gibbs last night if he was “relieved” that the preseason was over and that the preparation for games that count was now officially underway, there were no qualifiers from the coach. He didn’t say anything about never having too much time to evaluate players or about wanting more time to get ready. The reporter couldn’t even finish his question before Gibbs interrupted.

“Yes. Yes, certainly. . .When you ask me if I’m glad it’s over, I’d say ‘yeah’.”

He was speaking for himself, but he was also speaking on behalf of Redskins fans, players, reporters, and coaches everywhere.

Thank God it’s over. Let the real games begin.

It started off with a real downer in Clinton Portis’ shoulder injury just a few minutes into the first game, and it’s been going further into the toilet from there. A couple of days later we learned that Shawn Springs had undergone a surgical procedure on his groin (ouch!). In the first quarter of the Jets game we had the chilling sight of Cornelius Griffin on the ground grimacing with a knee injury. The fact that it turned out to be minor did little to raise spirits as the Redskins put on another mediocre showing. After that one Joe Gibbs’ words said, “concern” while his tone of voice and body language said, “pissed” during his uncharacteristically brief post-game press conference.

Instead of being greeted as a deal that would help the team, the T. J. Duckett trade was dissected and labeled by many as a panic move that was a sure sign that Portis’ shoulder was much worse than the Redskins were letting on. Then in the one supposedly semi-meaningful preseason game, the one where the starters go deep into the contest, it was no contest as the Patriots pasted the Redskins 41-0 with even stalwarts such as Jon Jansen looking shaky.

This past week we’ve had Al Saunders hauntingly bringing back Norv Turner’s notorious “what we do works” statement and Gregg Williams shrugging off the defense’s lack of effectiveness by claiming that he had done “zero” game planning. The excuse making seemed to be quite beneath two such accomplished coaches. “What we do” plus “zero” added up to another lackluster exhibition performance against the Ravens, the only positive aspect of which was the fact that it put the preseason in the rear view mirror.

We can now turn our thoughts to serious issues such as Mark Brunell’s durability, who the #2 quarterback behind him is, Portis’ shoulder, Duckett’s role in the offense, Springs’ status, Adam Archuleta’s learning curve in Williams’ defense and other such pressing matters. But let’s just take a day here to savor the end of the agony that was preseason 2006 and enjoy the fact that we no longer have to suffer through it. Those questions marks will still be there tomorrow.

Rich Tandler is the author of The Redskins From A to Z, Volume 1: The Games. This unique book has an account of every game the Redskins played from when the moved to Washington for the 1937 season through 2001. For details and ordering information go to http://www.RedskinsGames.com

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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: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0: CORNERING THE MARKET

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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.