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Getting to Know Redskins Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett

Jim Haslett is a bit of a mystery. He was in the UFL last year and before that, the defensive coordinator for a hapless St. Louis Rams. How can anyone judge his Coordinating skills with the talent he was given there? One thing we can all agree on is the defense needed a major shakeup. The "top 10" ranking was very deceiving given the inability to make tackles, convert interception opportunities, and make stops on final drives. Haslett is a fiery guy and was very well liked by his players in the Lou. The fact that Shanahan, and not the front office, is making this hiring pleases me the most. Here's what the media is saying:  

According to Redskins Insider:

[Haslett] has a reputation for using aggressive defenses and found success with the Steelers using the 3-4 defense, a formation that Shanahan has explored using.    

Matt Moseley thinks it is a good match

Haslett, a former NFL linebacker, has an outstanding reputation as a defensive coordinator in the league and you can guarantee that he'll field a more aggressive unit than Greg Blache featured the past two seasons....It will be tough for a smaller player such as London Fletcher to function in a 3-4 scheme because he'll have to fight off 330-pound guards on a regular basis. If the Skins are truly going to make this transition, you'll see them draft some completely different types of players than in the past....I think players such as LaRon Landry and Rocky McIntosh should be thrilled with the arrival of Haslett. He'll do a better job of putting them in positions to succeed. 

Jason LaCanfora breaks down the likely hirings to follow:

Sources said Rick Venturi is a strong candidate to be the Redskins' linebackers coach, and the team also has asked for and been granted permission to interview Lou Spanos, who spent the last 15 years as an assistant linebackers coach with the Steelers, who run a 3-4 defense (Haslett ran a 3-4 when he coached in Pittsburgh as well).    

A brief bio on Haslett and his defense ranks after the jump:

He was a linebacker for the Buffalo Bills until 1985, and played with the New York Jets in 1987. He was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year for 1979.     

Defense Rankings (out of 32 teams)
Pass Yds/Game Run Yds/Game Sacks INTs PPG
1996 Saints 3 27 7 25 11
1997 Steelers 18 1 6 6 20
1998 Steelers 18 13 12 17 7
1999 Steelers 18 26 17 23 12
2000-2005 head coach of Saints
2006 Rams 8 31 19 13 28
2007 Rams 21 20 21 10 31
2008 Rams 19 29 16 21 28
2009 6-0 in UFL...upset in Championship

He signed a 3-year deal with Washington.