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Haslett's All Business As Redskins Prepare For Rams


The Redskins' trip to St. Louis this weekend is not exactly a sentimental journey for defensive coordinator Jim Haslett.

Haslett spent the 2006-08 seasons coaching the St. Louis Rams, including an 11-game stint as interim head coach. Beyond spending some downtime with his family, who still live in the St. Louis area, he is all business this week.

"We need to go there and win a game," he said.

The Redskins' defense is looking to rebound from last week's 30-27 loss to the Houston Texans.

The defense yielded 526 total yards and 497 passing yards as the Texans came back from a 17-point second-half deficit to steal a victory at FedExField.

It has the Redskins ranked last in the league in defense.

All this week, Haslett has dealt with questions about cornerback DeAngelo Hall, who all but demanded to line up against the opposing team's top wide receiver.

"It doesn't matter what [Haslett] says," Hall told reporters earlier this week. "This is my team, my defense."

Hall was upset that he was not part of the coverage on Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson. Johnson caught a 34-yard touchdown pass on fourth down to tie the game in the fourth quarter.

Haslett said he was not disappointed with Hall's comments.

"The good corners I've been around all have that mentality," Haslett said. "I'd be disappointed if he didn't have that mentality. And I give him all the credit for saying that, to be honest with you. He's a guy who I think is playing at a high level right now."

Haslett said he is open to playing Hall against top wide receivers, but it has to depend on the offense's formation.

"I think there are times when you can do that based off formations, and there are times that you can't," Haslett said. "In training camp, he flip-flopped all over the place. The problem you get is, you get in some nickel and the guy you're trying to lock down goes inside. [Hall] hasn't been in there.

"You give away sometimes when you play man to man. So there are different reasons to do it, there are different reasons not to do it."

And what about Hall's comments claiming ownership of the defense?

"Hey, it is their team," Haslett replied. "The players play. Coaches – we coach. We try to get them to do things right, lLine up, do the things the way [we] want them to. The only satisfaction I get out of it? When they do it right.

"So it is the players' team, to be honest with you."

Haslett implemented the 3-4 defense in Washington last offseason, and he suggested that there will be more trials and errors in the weeks ahead.

He wants to see signs of improvement each week, though.

"It's a new defense and we've got a lot of volume," Haslett said. "There are a lot of little things that come up during the season. You watch other teams that run [this defense], and you say, 'Well, they just do this.' Well, they've been doing it for years. So it'll take some time here."

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