Quick Links

Was the Season a Success?

Was the Season a Success?

Every season, there are 31 NFL teams—all but the one that hoists the Lombardi Trophy—that have to look back and try to figure out if their seasons were a success.

For some, such as the Saints and Bears, the answer is obviously no. Those two teams were in the NFC Championship Game last year and at a minimum expected to get close to playing in that game again. The Browns, on the other hand, won 10 games and although they missed out on a playoff spot on the basis of tiebreakers they clearly exceeded expectations.

How about the Redskins? How successful was their 2007 nine-win, one and done playoff season? It depends on which view you want to take:

From the start of the season—Yes, a playoff appearance would have been considered a major step forward. The team was coming off of a 5-11 season and they weren't competitive in many of their losses. The various "experts" in the media didn't think that they would do much better. I'd estimate that the average projection was five or six wins. The local media, who know the team better, had them pegged slightly higher, at seven or eight wins. The Redskins were starting the season with a defense that one of the worst in the league in 2006 and a quarterback in his first full year as a starter.

From after the 5-3 start—At that point, even though the Cowboys were rolling along so it appeared that a division title was a long shot, it appeared that the Skins were in the process of putting together a good season. Two of their three losses had come to top teams in Green Bay and New England and even the loss to the Giants didn't look to bad as they had gotten on a roll. The defense had turned things around and Sean Taylor was leading the NFL in interceptions. It appeared that a playoff run was distinct possibility for this team.

At 4:30 PM on December 2—At about this moment Joe Gibbs was taking responsibility for his team's loss to Buffalo. Whether or not the back to back timeouts cost the Redskins the game seemed to be irrelevant. The team's best player had just been murdered. In the next four days the Redskins faced going to his funeral and then another game in four days. Certainly the slim playoff hopes would be gone in five days. Everyone in the organization would have taken a one and done at that point.

After beating Minnesota to take control of their playoff destiny—At that point, the Cowboys looked vulnerable, the Redskins had overcome the odds, and a trip to Arizona, while still a longshot, certainly was a tantalizing possibility. Certainly, the Redskins would be playing past the first week of January.

You can go further back. A sixth seed and first-round loss in year four of Gibbs II isn't what we expected after Gibbs was hired or after the 2005 season unless it had something to do with a Super Bowl hangover.

I think that the best spot to judge it on is from the perspective of the start of the season. If you'd have said that the right side of the O-line would be gone by halftime of the second game, that two defensive starters would be gone for the season with injuries and that a third, the team's best player, would be shot dead, that the team would blow a number of second-half leads and that the Redskins would be counting on Todd Collins in a string of can't-lose situations, most would have said that a winning record and a playoff spot would be the best that they could hope for.

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: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0: CORNERING THE MARKET

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.