Raiders officially announced Monday the hiring Jason Tarver as their new defensive coordinator.
Piece by piece, brick by brick the Oakland Raiders are rebuilding a restored regime that’s now in full swing. The team officially announced its new defensive coordinator Jason Tarver on Monday.
Prior to last season, Jason Tarver operated for 10 years under the likes of Steve Mariucci, Dennis Erickson, Mike Nolan, Mike Singletary and Jim Tomsula, working his way up the ranks from an offensive quality control coach (three years) to an assistant running backs coach/offensive assistant, before becoming the linebackers coach for the San Francisco 49ers from 2005-2010.
But when Jim Harbaugh became the new coach of the 49ers, Tarver seized on the opportunity to become the co-defensive coordinator under David Shaw at the University of Stanford.
Tarver, 37, assisted in developing one of the more potent units in the nation, finishing either first or second in the conference in six defensive categories. Now he’ll have to take the bull by the horns as the new defensive coordinator under Dennis Allen in Oakland.
The Raiders finished 27th or worse in total defense, run defense, pass defense and scoring defense in 2011. They also surrendered the most passing touchdowns (31), passing yards (4,262), yards per carry (5.1) and total yards (6,201) in franchise history. Making matters worse, they also set an NFL record for most penalties (163) and penalty yards (1,358) this past season.
The Raiders defense is not without great young talent and game-changing veterans, however. Stanford Routt is a decent cornerback. Safety Michael Huff can huff, puff and blow your house down. Over the last three seasons,Tyvon Branch has racked up 337 tackles, six sacks, three forced fumbles and a pair of interceptions.
Linebackers Kamerion Wimbley and Rolando McClain combined for 12 sacks in 2011 and in nine starts, outside linebacker Aaron Curry has a bright future ahead after a change of scenery. Tommy Kelly and Richard Seymour are stars on the defensive line and Matt Shaughnessy and LaMarr Houston have exponential potential.
The problem lies rather with discipline, but after the additions of Allen, McKenzie, Tarver and others, that shouldn’t be much of a glaring weakness over time. I wouldn’t count the new DC out from making an immediate impact, either with stronger stability in place.
Tarver is the son of research scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and he earned his master’s degree at UCLA. But instead of following in his father’s footsteps, he opted for coaching.
“I really love the look on guys’ faces when you help them make a play,” Tarver told The San Francisco Chronicle in September. “It’s almost better than doing it yourself. That’s what really made me want to do this.”
For Tarver it will not come as easy price in resolving one of the leagues worse defensive units but don’t count him out on fixing some of major issues right away, with the help of the Raiders new defensive minded head coach Dennis Allen the team looks headed towards the right direction. The time is now for Allen and Tarver to step up the plate, discipline and place the Raiders back in contention starting with their defensive unit.