The Oakland Raiders have hired their new defensive coordinator this afternoon with the reports of hiring of Jason Tarver from Stanford to run Dennis Allen’s defense. It’s an interesting move for a head coach with so little coordinator or head coaching experience to hire a college guy to run his defense, so the Raiders are going to skew younger if nothing else. Whether that pays dividends one way or the other remains to be seen.
However, Tarver is not without extensive experience in the NFL. Jerry McDonald writes:
Under the direction of Tarver and co-coordinator Derek Mason, Stanford’s defense ranked either first or second in the Pac-12 in eight categories, finishing first in rushing (93.3), first in red zone defense (74.0), first in third-down conversion percentage (30.9 percent), first in total defense (331.4) and first in fewest first downs per game (17.8).
Stanford was second in sacks per game (3.2), scoring defense (20.3) and tackles-for-loss per game (7.3). The Cardinal was fifth nationally in rushing defense, an area where the Raiders have struggled, giving up 5.1 yards per carry in 2011 under Chuck Bresnahan.
Unfortunately, that was all at the college level, but he was with the 49ers as an offensive and defensive assistant over the last 10 seasons before one year at Stanford. It’s definitely an experimental hire of sorts, but new GM Reggie McKenzie ventured out a bit on a limb for Dennis Allen. Any real judgments to be made one way or the other need to wait until the season starts.