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Need to Know: Will Redskins’ Haslett stay or go?

Dec 27, 2014, 6:14 AM EDT

Haslett vs AZ

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.

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In case you missed it

  1. charley42 - Dec 27, 2014 at 6:57 AM

    A lot of it is on the players but at the same time, it’s been long enough to see that Hazmat really doesn’t get the most out of all the players. Sure, there are some like Kerrigan but that’s him not the coach. It’s how one does with the unmotivated players that’s the key and I think Haslett’s gone stale.

  2. dcfaninecuador - Dec 27, 2014 at 7:53 AM

    Inconsistency in the defensive game plans is the main problem. How do you go from a brilliant game plan against Dallas and the allow the Bucs to have their way with you. There is a core of talented players who just look lost on the field sometimes. The team needs new leadership on defense. A young, aggressive coach who can get the best out of the players they have.

  3. colmac69 - Dec 27, 2014 at 8:45 AM

    He really should have went at end of last season……yeh he not had strongest pool of players but at no time could u see a distinctive pattern emerging xcept mistake after mistake…..same this yr….yeh he has called some gd games(dallas….san francisco…seattle…..) but its bn a litany of mistakes…mental breakdwns etc etc…….points against have always bn in 20, s….lack turnovers…..again players take some of blame but when mistakes continually happen (and its bn same mistakes) that’s on coaching. …….

    Time for new approach completely. philosophy. voice……hopefully some gd signings that will improve bigger picture. ….prob wont change overnight but it should get better

    If there is change the interesting thing for me would new guy still b 3-4 or will he b 4-3 guy defensively. ….might b diff in some guys going or staying. …..affect how many changes required

    But change has to happen on defensive side of ball

    • penz84 - Dec 27, 2014 at 9:52 AM

      Seattle? Wilson had almost a 100 yards rushing in the 1st quarter alone, he’s one of the dangerous runners in the league yet the D had zero containment and looked completely unprepared to face him. Agreed on all the rest though.

      • colmac69 - Dec 27, 2014 at 11:00 AM

        Forgot to mention in my post that wilson…as a qb…rushed for over 100+ and if u take that out defense actually done decent job in that game……but fair point made bout first qtr

    • Joe Greene - Dec 27, 2014 at 2:09 PM

      English, please type your comments in adult English. It’s embarrassing to see something written like this.

      • maxpower65 - Dec 28, 2014 at 3:15 AM

        Relax, Joe. Not everyone has been fortunate enough to receive a quality eduction, like yourself.

  4. sidepull - Dec 27, 2014 at 9:43 AM

    Never have we had a true wrecking ball nose tackle. Somebody who just collapses the pocket and applies pressure consistently. It is the cornerstone of a 3-4. Most great 3-4 Defenses have one. We try to plug in players, a lot who would flourish in a 4-3, into 3.4 scheme. I think Rak in 4-3 would be a better player with his hand in the dirt. So Haz took a top 10 4-3 D and tried to implement a 3-4. We suck consistently. Once in a while we catch lightning in a bottle but it is fleeting. I wish they would have gotten rid of him and that 3-4 last year. It really gave me a sinking feeling that Gruden is lobbying for him to return next year. Just awful decision in my humble opinion.

    • bowlregard - Dec 27, 2014 at 12:48 PM

      Maybe he feels he can say that since he knows it is not his decision. Although Jay is fundamentally a straight shooter, head coach statements are typically 90% political.

  5. cowboyhater - Dec 27, 2014 at 9:52 AM

    First of all if you what you state is true about players not putting in the time to learn their assignments, then why are they even on the field, or just cut them. That’s where some of this dysfunction comes from. The coaches need to hammer these players for quitting on plays, not putting in the time to learn their opponents, not putting in the time to make themselves better…..etc…. Do you think a Belicheck (however you spell it) would allow any of these players on the field?!!! Haslett is a weak coach, and let the players run all over him. Can anyone tell me why the HEAD COACH is not making the call on who is on his coaching staff? Again, more dysfunction. Why would Allen, and Snyder have the last say as to who is on Gruden’s staff. This team needs to wake up and get their heads out of their arse. Snyder….just shut up and finance the team. Allen…either leave or give the player personnel decisions to a real GM. Gruden…..grab your sack and stand up to these idiots and demand to call the shots on who is and is not on your coaching staff, and BENCH or CUT under-performing/lazy players.

  6. dcwun - Dec 27, 2014 at 11:11 AM

    Maybe he dealt with injuries this year Rich
    but I’ll ask this……Where do you think this defense would be if Gregg Williams was coaching it? It appears to have much more talent, especially up front, the they’ve had in a long time. Coaches make a huge difference in attitude and urgency. Most of this unit seems to lack both.

  7. mr.moneylover - Dec 27, 2014 at 11:27 AM

    Umm wasnt it jim hasslet idea to bring in albert hanesworth ??? And once he got his money he didnt do nothing and set us back a couple of years in salary cap space once mike shanahan seen how albert was acting in practice benched him…jim hasslet had years to improve the defense not one year,not two years, not three years, not four years he had 5 years to get solid at any postion on the field….but jim hasslet is not the only person who should be let go…the trainer’s that suppose to get our players healthy as possible should be let go as well…this is crazy how other teams in our division play with the same players for most or if not all year long when we put somebody in new every week…and something not right with david amerson it looks like he picking up that loser mind set because last year he was more aggressive then he was this year

    • Rich Tandler - Dec 27, 2014 at 11:29 AM

      Haslett was coaching the Florida Tuskers when Albert signed with the Redskins

      • mr.moneylover - Dec 27, 2014 at 11:45 AM

        Ohh so that was mike shanahan idea then…but still jim hasslet have years to get it right…one article came out last year and it said jim hasslet wanted to be signed to a multi year contract but jay gruden said he wanted to go one year prove it deal before

        • Rich Tandler - Dec 27, 2014 at 11:58 AM

          No, Shanahan was out of football that year. Al was a Vinny and Snyder production

        • bowlregard - Dec 27, 2014 at 12:51 PM

          It was on Shanahan and/or Allen to pay him that bonus.

        • Joe Greene - Dec 27, 2014 at 2:10 PM

          How about taking 3 minutes to Google it instead of just continuously getting things wrong?

        • maxpower65 - Dec 28, 2014 at 3:18 AM

          Touché, Joe. Touché.

    • polofourme - Dec 27, 2014 at 1:43 PM

      NO that was Snyder’s move….same guy who had to have a college QB who had never run a pro set and give the farm away to get him…Snyders just got to have his bling.

  8. mr.moneylover - Dec 27, 2014 at 11:40 AM

    Bottom line is the players dont respect jim hasslet and they feel they can do what they want….you really think if rex ryan come in here and he find out players leaving early and not putting in the extra time to correct they mistakes he will cuss every player out weather u like it or not and not care about how u feel about it…he want his players take the game seriously…jim hasslet seem like he more focus on bein friends with his players and you cant do that you gotta be a teacher with tough love before u can be friends with players first

  9. mr.moneylover - Dec 27, 2014 at 11:56 AM

    I didnt know 49ers head coach jim H. Went 7-9 in his first season before they start having winning seasons and the key with turning that franchise around was a good draft and good free agency and getting players to buy in …if redskins get solid players in key postions this franchise can have the same results….I agree with cooley on some of the players redskins should let go… EJ BIGGERS,ROY HELU,TYLER POLUMBUS,PERRY RILEY,CHRIS CHESTER,ANDRE ROBERTS,DAVID AMERSON watch how this team improve with these players gone

    • Joe Greene - Dec 27, 2014 at 2:11 PM

      There needs to be an ignore function for people who post completely unreadable nonsense.

      • maxpower65 - Dec 28, 2014 at 3:20 AM

        There is, Joe. It’s called reader’s discretion.

  10. bowlregard - Dec 27, 2014 at 12:59 PM

    This past offseason the big sale on keeping Haslett was that he would be dialing up the blitzes – something Shanahan was supposedly keeping him from doing. But the only game the Skins really brought it all year was the Dallas game. That especially seemed to play to Merryweather’s strengths. But the whole rest of the season they were dropping seven or eight into coverage the whole time. QBs like Eli were just standing back there and picking them apart.

    And this is a time when the Seahawks are teaching the rest of the league that the way to play defense is to man up in the secondary and crowd the line. It reminds me of Jimmy Johnson’s Cowboys in the early 90s. Also Buddy Ryan’s defenses. But Haslett wants to start with a prevent defense and play it the whole game.

  11. pragmatic1950 - Dec 27, 2014 at 1:31 PM

    Has can’t make chicken salad out of chicken s—. He has no players and has to rely on complex schemes to get the job done. Obviously some of the players are either not experienced enough or smart enough to execute the scheme. So what does he do?

    • polofourme - Dec 27, 2014 at 1:41 PM

      You know there might be something to your view, its the players….but its NOT just this year, its every year he has been with the team and if you look back over his career, for different teams with completely different sets of players and his record is one that is embarrassingly bad, to be kind. He can lose with any players and at some point you can not simply say its his players, at some point it has to be Haslessbrains…time for him to move back to the FL swamps in the minor league where he belongs.

    • Joe Greene - Dec 27, 2014 at 2:11 PM

      Haslett has NEVER had a top 10 defense anywhere regardless of talent. He’s a bad DC and always has been.

  12. polofourme - Dec 27, 2014 at 1:37 PM

    All I can say is if this bum is still on the coaching staff next season, you will see a mass exodus of fans from this franchise. Its hard enough to lose year and year out. But to see coachs reward for their mediocre and totally worthless contributions for years…and never see any improvement, that’s enough of that. We have this constant drama with Griffin, we have a HC who is really on pretty flat learning curve, we have a bumbling joke as a GM and the worst owner in all of professional sports and fans wonder WHY cant we win…its because of guys like Haslessbrains…and IMO you can include McVay in that group of under performers. I ask you, are there ANY fans out there that want to see Haslessbrains for another YEAR…

  13. nomaan78 - Dec 27, 2014 at 1:39 PM

    Haslett needs to go. If Gruden wants to keep him here he will be fired everntually as well.

    Fix the defense and O-line with FA

    Justin Houston OLB/DE from KC
    Devin McCourty FS from NE
    Stevie Brown S from NYG

    Marshall Newhouse OT from CIN
    Mike Iupati OG from SF
    Stefen Wisniewski C from OAK
    Jermaine Gresham TE CIN

    Supplement the depth of our team with draft picks


    1st Amari Cooper WR Alabama
    2nd Marcus Peters CB Washington
    3rd Cody Prewitt FS Ole Miss
    4th Owamagbe Odighizuwa DE UCLA
    5th B.J. Finney C Kansas State
    6th Trey DePriest ILB Alabama
    7th Justin Cox FS

    I decided to go with the best WR as I dont expect Moss to be gone and dont like Roberts.

    I would like to add another talented top level WR

    Desean Jackson, Pierre Garcon and Amari Cooper. Hankerson and Grant as depth.
    Revamped O-line with TW, Iupati, Wisiniewski, Spencer Long, Newhouse
    with the revamped O-line RG3 should have time to get the ball out and make better reads because he has some time to make a play. Reed and Gresham would be dangerous in 2 TE sets.

    Defensively We would have Justin Houston and Ryan Kerrigan as sack machines
    McCourty at FS and Brown at SS with depth of Prewitt and Phillip Thomas
    CB’s Breeland, Amerson, Peters, and DeAngelo Hall


    • Joe Greene - Dec 27, 2014 at 2:08 PM

      Just as dumb as it was yesterday.

    • polofourme - Dec 27, 2014 at 3:01 PM

      The very last thing we need is another WR…we have to many at this point and cant even get Grant on the field to encourage his development. We need to take a page out of the DAL Cowboys play book and draft OL, OL, OL, OL….we also need to draft SS, WS, CB, OLB, DL and I would include RBs…but it cant all get done in one will take years to get the roster right and that’s IF we make ALL the right choices and that practically speaking NEVER happens. But beyond that and even more importantly we need to hire a real GM…and give him the keys to the Park. Right now ALLEN will be making ALL the personnel decisions and before we make one change to the roster, we need to fire him and send him packing just like Haslessbrains. If that doesn’t happen it wont matter who we bring in either thru FA or in the draft….so its starts with finding and hiring a real GM and let him decide who we need to acquire…that’s how most teams do it..and one more thing Snyder has to vanish from the Park. Now, that’s a ton of immediate changes that has to happen…before we start rebuilding the roster and YOU and I know, that’s never going to happen so it wont matter who we bring in…this team is never going to change where it needs to double digits loss’s are on the horizon for as far out as the eye can see. Everything else as you suggest which sounds reasoned and well thought out…its all pure wishful thinking…

    • Joe Greene - Dec 27, 2014 at 5:47 PM

      BTW, which part of Marshall Newhouse and Stefen Wisnieski are downgrades from our already bad OL do you not understand? Wisnieski is not as good as Lichtensteiger and Newhouse is much worse than Compton. The OL you have above is a downgrade from this year overall.

    • skins1970 - Dec 28, 2014 at 1:16 AM

      Please we don’t need a WR if we want one we can draft Stefon Diggs in the 4 or 5th round.We should pick Shane Ray if he is there when we pick I would rather have Leonard Williams or Randy Gregory but they will probably be gone by then.If we don’t want Ray we can trade down to somewhere between 10-15 and pick up some more draft picks and draft a Olineman.

      • Joe Greene - Dec 28, 2014 at 2:19 AM

        Ray is a terrible pick if we stay in the 3-4. It’s just another DE learning a new position who will take the better part of a season, at least, to even begin to learn the concepts of playing OLB.

        • skins1970 - Dec 28, 2014 at 4:32 PM

          I’m hoping the new DC will go back to the 4-3.

    • skins1970 - Dec 28, 2014 at 1:21 AM

      The only Olineman I like from your FA list is Mike Iupati.

  14. Joe Greene - Dec 27, 2014 at 2:07 PM

    There is NO case for keeping Haslett. He has literally never had a top 10 defense, anywhere, regardless of talent level.

    The sad part is point #1 above. Gruden does not have final say on his own staff. That tells you exactly why this franchise can’t get a half decent coach.

    • mr.moneylover - Dec 27, 2014 at 4:16 PM

      Everybody say bruce allen need to hire a player personnel assistant to keep track of good college talent but thats unlikely to happen cause hes another guy that likes to be hands on with things…rambo picked off Aaron Rodgers twice who ever in charge with player development they not doing they job

  15. kenlinkins - Dec 27, 2014 at 3:59 PM

    Lets be fair, Jim Haslett knows more about football then 99.9% of the people in the USA. You do not get to be a head coach or DC in the NFL by being a fool. There are many steps to work up to gain those positions. He understands that even the smartest DC can find a pink slip waiting for him if the result are 3-13, 4-12, 6-10, and 5-11 5 out of 6 years. The Redskins must have a fail guy for the mess that is 2014. If you tag a Orkapo, sign Hatcher, Porter, Hall, Clark, Perry, draft 2 of your 4 top guys, and then sign Jackson, Roberts, Lauvao and get a new head coach who should be able to fix your broken star QB and still do not get anywhere near 500, someone must go. It the Redskins are going to keep GM Allen and Head Coach Gruden, then Haslett is the odd man out. I am not saying Haslett should not be fired, the results speak for themselves, but let’s not make remarks like “he is dumb” or “can not coach” or “should never have been hired”. These are all not true. What is true is that he failed in Washington and there are many reasons for that failure, some on him, some on others. The truth is the Redskins will be better off with another DC in 2015 and that is all that matters!

    • Joe Greene - Dec 27, 2014 at 5:48 PM

      Haslett has been bad at his job everywhere he’s been. He’s terrible. His defenses have been bad at every stop and he wasn’t even a good coach in the UFL.

  16. mr.moneylover - Dec 27, 2014 at 4:21 PM

    Im still not over the fact that rambo picked off aaron Rodgers twice but when he was here he looked sooooo bad…that said it all with the defensive coaches …I think raheem morris is on the hot seat too right along wit jim hasslet…I think if jim hasslet stay its basically gonna be base off of friendship and how well he is liked by players and not performance on the field

  17. mr.moneylover - Dec 27, 2014 at 4:32 PM

    I bet the draft going to START in this order well it depends on what happen in free agency…OL OL DL DL S TE…if the draft dont start in a similar order redskins gonna have problems for years to come

  18. gasngo14 - Dec 27, 2014 at 6:00 PM

    This entire organization is a complete mess so i can’t blame any coach. The blame needs to start at the top with Danny and Allen and until they change their ways that produces below average teams there’s not much hope for our once proud organization!

  19. goback2rfk - Dec 27, 2014 at 11:38 PM

    I can not wait to see who gets fired, the more the better.. Let em all go! HttR

  20. Jeremy - Dec 28, 2014 at 7:11 AM

    What about Rex Ryan for the defensive coordinator position? I doubt anyone would want to hire him as HC, especially not after that fiasco with the jets. I’d show haslett-down the door and make a serious run at bringing Rex in

    • mr.moneylover - Dec 28, 2014 at 9:32 AM

      I would too…but redskins might move slow to make a good push at rex ryan u see how slow they was in free agencey last year…but rex ryan is a huge upgrade he keep players on they toes and set them up to be the best…he know defense better then his brother rob ryan…redskins got to get rid of these old heads thats barely playing Archives

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