January 8, 2010

Jim Haslett ... really?

According to our old friend Jason LaCanfora ...

"Following up on the Redskins defensive coordinator search, which I touched on earlier this week. The Redskins are very interested in Mike Zimmer as a defensive coordinator, but could face competition from other clubs looking to hire the Bengals coordinator as a head coach.

The Redskins are prepared to meet with Zimmer this weekend should the Bengals lose to the Jets, but also plan to meet with Jim Haslett, a former NFL head coach, according to a league source.

Haslett is very interested in bringing in veteran defensive line coach Tim Krumrie wherever he lands should he get back in the NFL (he coached in the UFL this season), according to sources, after the Chiefs fired Krumrie this week.

Redskins coach Mike Shanahan has been continually intrigued by the prospects of going to a 3-4 scheme, which is part of the reason why Haslett is so attractive."

Not really sure why, but I have never much cared for Haslett. Something about the guy has just always rubbed me the wrong way.

So ... trying to rise above such pettiness, I dug into his record as a defensive coordinator in the NFL real quick, to be sure I wasn't cutting off my nose to spite my face (whatever the hell that old saw means). Can't be letting vague personal get in the way of potential for success after all.

So assuming wikipedia is right about the years in question, and NFL.com is right about the stats, here's a quick down and dirty peak at the units Haslett ran as defensive coordinator.


Haslett took over a defense that finished 22nd in the league the year before:

1995 – 22nd overall (18th scoring, 22nd passing, 21st rushing)

... and had some immediate success, most strikingly against the pass:

1996 – 13th overall (20th scoring, 3rd passing, 27th rushing)

The year after he left (to become DC in Pittsburgh in '97) the Saints defense finished top five:

1997 – 4th overall (16th scoring, 6th passing, 14th rushing)

PITTSBURGH ‘97 – ‘99

Haslett inherited a pretty damn good defense from the year before (2006):

1996 – 2nd overall (4th scoring, 5th passing, 3rd rushing)

... and, well, you be the judge:

1997 – 6th overall (11th scoring, 18th passing, 1st rushing)
1998 – 12th overall (7th scoring, 18th passing, 13th rushing)
1999 – 11th overall (12th scoring, 4th passing, 26th rushing)

(Check the progress versus the run. Or don't, if you're a Haslett fan)

The year after he left, the Steeler defense trended back the other way:

2000 – 7th overall (6th scoring, 9th passing, 12th rushing)

ST. LOUIS '06 - '07

After his head coaching stint in New Orleans (2000-2005), Haslett was hired by the St. Louis Rams to resurrect their 30th ranked ('05) unit. Not sure what he did quite qualifies as "resurrecting" the Rams' woebegone defensive unit, but he did oversee some improvement:

2006 – 23rd overall (28th scoring, 8th passing, 31st rushing)
2007 – 21st overall (31st scoring, 21st passing, 20th rushing)

He was going to be their defensive coordinator in 2008 as well, but instead was hired on after the Rams 0-4 start as their "interim coach." After upsetting Joe Gibbs' Redskins (Pete Kendall, please pick up the white courtesy phone) to earn the Rams first victory of the season, he and the Rams lost 10 of their remaining 11 games to finish the season 2-14.

Haslett was not asked to return for 2009 ... and, if rumors are true has been spotted coaching in something called the United Football League.

Don't get me wrong, I don't mean to belittle the guy. And I know numbers tell only a small part of any story ... but reality sure can be a bitch.

If you, gentle Redskins fan reader, know something about Mr. Haslett as an NFL defensive coordinator (and for his sake and ours if this pans out I hope there's a lot) that mitigates against the general feeling of "meh"-titude I'm getting about this one, feel free to share.



Anonymous said...

The man must have been a great coordinator for him to have been picked to be a head coach twice. With Mike Zimmer he may be here just one year and bolt to go get a head coaching gig nin 2011 with Jim it will be the same as Gregg Williams no one will take him because of his past head coaching failure but he built one heck of a defense.

Anonymous said...

mark - i went back into your archives and re-read your haslett post. at the time, i disagreed w/ you and celebrated the decision to hire him. i ignored his history and your research. i looked forward anticipating an aggressive D that would unleash orakpo and landry. little did i know that i would rue this day. you were right... dangit...
i knew haslett didn't have all the pieces to execute the 3-4 as he intended, but i didn't expect him to robotically meander along without to his players' skill level and talent.

another season's worth of nightmares where i was just embarrassed to be a redskin fan.

so, o wise one, what say you now? will they pretend that the coach isn't the problem or will shanny have the guts to go after someone like marvin lewis if he becomes available?...