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Will Eagles' fast-paced offense wear down their D?

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Will Eagles' fast-paced offense wear down their D?

Chip Kelly said that he isn’t worried about the fast pace of his new Eagles’ offense to wear down his defense.

“It’s always about plays run, depending on how man plays the other team can run and our defense [faces],” he said on a conference all with reporters on Wednesday. “I don’t think we’ve run into these issues. I don’t know the exact count in the last game but in our other three preseason game we ran more plays than the other teams we’ve played so our defense was on the field less than our offense.”

If Chip is going to talk numbers to make his case perhaps he should be more familiar with them.

In their four preseason games, the Eagles ran 297 plays while their opponents ran 288. That’s a difference of about two plays per game. But the Eagles’ defense was not on the field less than their offense was.

Philly averaged 27:39 in time of possession, meaning their offense was on the field that long every game. The other team possessed the ball an average of 32:22 so the Eagles defense was on the field five minutes longer than the Philly offense was per game.

Even if you look game by game, what Kelly said doesn’t make any sense. In their first preseason game the Patriots ran six more plays than the Eagles and held the ball about two minutes longer. In the second game against the Panthers the Eagles had a big advantage in terms of plays run, 69-58, and a TOP advantage of a minute and a half. The next week it was the Jaguars with three more plays and about three more minutes of possession. In the preseason finale, the game Kelly couldn’t remember, the Jets ran 85 plays to 72 for Philly and New York had a possession time of over 15 minutes.

So, in three of the Eagles’ four preseason games the other team both ran more plays and held the ball longer. That doesn’t exactly fit Kelly’s narrative.

Certainly there are all kinds of caveats here since it was preseason and the first team played about four of the 16 quarters. Things may well play out differently when the season starts. But that is what we have to go on and Kelly brought it up. And, so far, his theory for keeping his defense rested isn’t working.

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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.