On Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013, Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett addressed the media after an afternoon practice at Redskins Park in Ashburn, VA.
On how the rumors about his job security affect his family:
"First of all, this is my 30th year – coaching, playing – so I've kind of seen it all and gone through it. I think it's just really kind of part of the job that comes up when you come with this kind of record that we have right now. I don't worry about it. I truly try to focus in on the job –trying to win, play well on defense and trying to win a game. Whatever happens on Monday, Tuesday, or whenever that happens – I haven't been through this yet from that standpoint, so I'll find out. But that's kind of part of it. It's not the good part, because people don't understand it does involve more than just me, it involves my wife, kids, it involves – there's families involved, so when you're talking about 22 coaches, there's a lot more people than just 22 coaches that get involved. You're talking about moving families, moving kids, different schools, all that stuff – the ugly part of football."
On how he would have reacted to the rumors when he was younger:
"Well, Chick, I'd probably tell you to go stick it, you know, knowing that's what you guys do. That's kind of part – that's talk radio. But back then, my first [job] as a head coach I was 41-years-old, it was a little different than it is now. I went through Katrina and all that stuff, so things are a little different – still ugly, but that's part of it."
On if he has ever experienced a drop-off from the highs of one season to the lows of the next like these past two years:
"When I was playing, we had like three to four years in a row where we were really good. Then the USFL came in and kind of took some of our players and we fell to 3-13, so that was probably the greatest [drop-off]…But as a player, you're in your own little world, so you just worry about yourself. You don't worry about everything else around you – a little different."
On his biggest drop-off from one season to the next as a coach:
"I was with Chuck Knox playing when he left and went to a new team. I was coaching with Coach [Jim] Mora when he left – when he was in New Orleans – left. But that's middle-of-the-season stuff. I coached in St. Louis when I became the coach halfway through, so I've never been through it completely the whole way."
On if his defense still does not have the proper personnel to play in a 3-4 defensive scheme:
"Well, take a couple of things into account. I think people have to look at the salary cap issues. You don't have $36 million over two years to address needs, I think there's a trickle-down effect. One, it either affects players on the offense/defense and it affects you special teams. Obviously, you can see that and not having that. The first two years, we had no free agency, so I mean, there's different things that play into it. I do think we have the nucleus to have a good team. I'll give you this – I'll give you some numbers, all right, because you guys are number guys. Our first three games of the year, we were awful. We gave up 440 [yards], 580, 441. Do the last 12 games, rank us and see where we're at, because we're about 327, which puts you about eighth in the NFL, not including the first three. You can say what you want. I look at the way we played the last 12 games and it's been pretty good. Maybe we haven't had the ideal guys, exactly what you want, but they've played pretty well. You guys can figure all those numbers out."
On if being in Washington has been a rewarding experience:
"I look at the positive part. I look at it took us three years, we won the division championship, something they haven't done around here in 14 years, so I'll take that as a plus. Obviously, we had high expectations this year, didn't fall the way you want. But I think anytime, especially in the division you're in, if you can win that division, something they haven't done in 14 years, I would say that's a positive experience."
On if he expects to be in Washington next season:
"You know what, I don't make those decisions. Would I like to be here? Of course, I like being around here. I like the players. I like you guys. I like the fans. Obviously, the fans are awesome. I think this is a great organization. It's a shame that we couldn't do what we did last year and win our division – that's the negative. Yeah, sure, I'd love to be here. You'd like to continue to build and now you have the chance, with all the salary cap money, I think you can add pieces and have a pretty good football team."
On which pieces need to be added to improve the defense:
"Well, I've got one more game left to play with the guys we got. We're going to go out there and try to play our best. Maybe we'll talk about that next week or whenever."
On if linebacker Brandon Jenkins has received a fair evaluation through 29 snaps so far this season:
"No, you can't give a fair evaluation on a guy like that yet. To be honest with you, it takes a couple years to learn to play that position. You're talking about a guy that's played with his hand in the dirt his whole life, and then all of a sudden you stand him up. That's not a natural thing to cover, drop, do all those type of things. When I was in Pittsburgh, it took Joey Porter three years. It takes guys a few years to learn it. I think Brandon will be a guy that can step in and play here in another year or so, but to say that we gave him a fair evaluation this year, no, I can't say that."
On the importance of bringing back linebacker Brian Orakpo:*
"I think he is – if not the best player on the defense – I think you have to have him back no matter what. I think he's a heck of a football player. He can do everything for you, not just – like I said, he's a good pass rusher, he can cover, he's really good in the run game, he's a good person, he's a team guy. He'll do anything you ask him to do. He's never balked at anything. You ask him to drop into coverage. You get some of those guys who complain about it. He's not one of those guys. He just wants to win games. I think he's great for an organization."