Dec 27, 2014, 6:14 AM EDT
Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, December 27, one day before the Washington Redskins host the Dallas Cowboys.
Three and out—Will Haslett stay or go?
1. Zac Boyer of the Washington Times talked to Redskins coach Jay Gruden yesterday and the coach said that he was “absolutely” interested in bringing back Jim Haslett as his defensive coordinator. That was the headline. But in the article, Gruden says that it’s not his decision, and the final authority for such decisions rests with Bruce Allen and Dan Snyder. Gruden will have a seat at the table when they are talking about it and will make his case but it’s really Allen’s call. Those discussions will take place next week.
2. A case can be made for keeping Haslett. He was not exactly handed a unit loaded with all-pro talent and that group has been smacked by injuries (of the 13 players on injured reserve, nine play defense). The line is aging and the talent at safety is well below NFL standards. On top of that, the defense has developed two young players, Bashaud Breeland and Keenan Robinson, who should be fixtures for years to come.
3. But the much stronger case is for Haslett being shown the door. This will be his fifth season here and you can’t point to any of his units and say, wow, that was a really good defense there. It’s been a good game here, a strong month or so there but nothing consistent. Check that, the losing has been consistent with double-digit losses in four of those five seasons. After yet another failed season, the defense simply needs a new voice, some different methods, a change in philosophy. It’s broken and it needs to be fixed and it’s obvious that Haslett isn’t the guy to do it. Although it’s far from a sure thing, I believe that Allen will want to let Haslett go and Gruden will not raise a very strong objection.
Out: Fans should realize that Haslett departing would not mean an immediate improvement in the defense. That will take a couple of competent safeties, some reinforcements on the line, preferably younger ones, and players who will not accept missing assignments on the field. There are some on defense who take the extra time needed to watch the film and to know their assignments cold and there are some who do not. A coordinator can only go so far in getting his players to spend the after-hours time in the building. They have to want to do it and that’s only partially in the control of the coordinator. A new coordinator would be only the very start of improving the Washington defense.
—Today’s schedule: Walkthrough at Redskins Park, no availability
—Days until: Cowboys @ Redskins 1; 2015 NFL Draft 124; 2015 NFL season opening Sunday 260
If you have any questions about what’s going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. I’ll answer all questions as soon as I can get to them. And I’m always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.
In case you missed it
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- Redskins’ Gruden: ‘They’re working hard’
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- Redskins draft prospect watch: Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl
- Trent Williams ‘questionable’, Jason Hatcher ‘doubtful’
- Gruden: Improved defense needed to help Redskins QBs
- Redskins draft prospects to watch: Heart of Dallas Bowl
- Career of Redskins’ Morris off to remarkable start
- More roster churn coming for 2015 Redskins?
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