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Blache Retires After 22 Years In NFL

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Greg Blache is retiring from the NFL.

The Redskins confirmed Blache's retirement as part of a press release announcing the hiring of Jim Haslett as the team's new defensive coordinator.

"Greg Blache has been integral to the success of the Redskins defense over the last two years, and I regret that I won't be able to work with him," Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan said. "We'll miss his discipline, his loyalty, and his consistency, and wish all the best to Greg and his family in his retirement."

A veteran of 22 seasons in the NFL, Blache served with the Redskins the last six seasons, first as a defensive line coach from 2004-07 and then as defensive coordinator the last two years.

Blache made his mark in Washington as a crusty, no-nonsense coach. His words were choice and sometimes biting, but he engendered fierce loyalty among his players.

Blache's defenses were not always an attacking, blitzing group, but he had players performing at a consistently high level. He put an emphasis on playing strong fundamental football, demonstrated by physical play along the front lines.

In 32 games as Redskins defensive coordinator, his defense surrendered just 19.8 points per game, the seventh-best mark in that span.

In 2008, Blache's defense finished fourth overall. The unit slipped to 11th overall--fifth in pass defense--last season, still a solid ranking.

Prior to joining the Redskins, Blache spent five years as defensive coordinator with the Chicago Bears.

He served as defensive line coach for the Indianapolis Colts from 1994-98 and held the same position with the Green Bay Packers from 1988-93.

He was part of Mike Holmgren's 1992 coaching staff that included five future head coaches in Jon Gruden, Dick Jauron, Steve Mariucci, Andy Reid and Ray Rhodes.

In addition to his pro coaching experience, Blache has held positions with several college programs, including Tulane, Southern University and Notre Dame.

He began his coaching career as a defensive assistant at his alma mater Notre Dame in 1968 after suffering a leg injury that ended his playing career.

A New Orleans native, Blache and his wife, Lynn, have six children: Greg Jr., Jennifer, Christopher, Sarah, Corrine and Matthew.

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