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The Tuesday Take—Misperception

The Tuesday Take—Misperception

To open up the 2007 season, the New York Giants went on the road to play the Dallas Cowboys. They lost by 45-35 in a game that was not as close as the final score indicated. Last Thursday the Redskins went on the road and lost to the Giants by nine points in a game that was not as close as the final score indicated.

Yet the reaction to the game a year ago is vastly different to the game last week. Sure, the Giants had their critics and the buzzards were circling around Tom Coughlin. But the buzzword then and now, as that game is being revisited, is that the Giants were "competitive". Even though half of their team, the defense, was completely ineffective, it was OK because they were able to post five touchdowns.

Just like the Giants a year ago, the Redskins were ineffective on one side of the ball but it was the Skins offense that couldn't get untracked. The Washington defense was respectable throughout.

We know what the reaction to the Redskins' loss has been. I heard a Sirius NFL Radio commentator say that the Skins would have trouble beating a high school team. Dan Steinberg in the DC Sport Bog did a good job of compiling some of the more hysterical reactions from both his WaPo compatriots and others.

Such contrasting viewpoints depending on which half of the team pulls a no-show are the norm on all levels of football. Even though they say that defense wins championships, if you're going to stink up the joint on one side of the ball, it had better be the defense. If you lose a high-scoring affair, you're in there fighting. If you lose while giving up just one touchdown you would have trouble beating Duke.

One more related point here. Please don't tell me that the Redskins were "lucky" or "fortunate" that the Giants didn't score more points, that it "could have been 28-0" , or any other such nonsense. Yes, the Giants drove into scoring position three more times in the first half after scoring their first and only touchdown. But the Redskins defense, not bad luck, stopped them and forced them to settle for field goals.

There were no dumb penalties on the Giants. They did not drop any passes. No questionable call or non-call cost New York a touchdown. There were no occasions where a wide-open receiver or a runner in the open field slipped and fell. The Redskins simply turned them away.

It's like saying that the Giants were lucky that the Redskins didn't run or pass for a first down on their first three possessions.

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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.