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Redskins Hire Haslett As Defensive Coordinator


The Redskins announced that they have named Jim Haslett as their defensive coordinator.

Haslett is a veteran of 24 NFL seasons, including eight as a player, nine as an assistant coach and seven as a head coach.

He previously served as defensive coordinator of the New Orleans Saints in 1996, the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1997-99, and the St. Louis Rams in 2006, 2007 and for the first four games of 2008 before being elevated to head coach.

Haslett spent last season coaching the UFL's Florida Tuskers, which he led to a perfect 6-0 regular season record and a championship game appearance.

"I have a great deal of respect for what Jim has done in this league," Redskins Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan said. "He is one of the game's sharpest defensive minds and has a great passion for the sport. He will be instrumental to our success in Washington."

Haslett's first head coaching stint came in New Orleans from 2000-05. The Saints were 42-38 over his first five seasons, including one NFC West Championship, with just one losing season (7-9 in 2001).

He was a unanimous selection as Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year in 2000, when he led the Saints to the first playoff victory in franchise history. He was also honored as NFL Coach of the Year by The Sporting News and Pro Football Weekly, among others.

Prior to becoming the Saints' head coach, Haslett made his mark as defensive coordinator in Pittsburgh, where he helped the Steelers win the AFC Central division in 1997. In his three years there, Haslett guided his defense to NFL rankings of sixth, 12th, and 11th, respectively.

The units were particularly stout against the run, leading the league twice, and finishing third once, in rushing yards allowed per attempt. Linebacker Chad Brown, linebacker Levon Kirkland (twice), safety Carnell Lake (twice), defensive tackle Joel Steed and cornerback Rod Woodson all earned Pro Bowl selections under Haslett's watch.

Haslett began his NFL coaching career as the Los Angeles Raiders' linebacker coach in 1993. After two seasons there, he took the same role in New Orleans in 1996, before being promoted to defensive coordinator in 1997.

Haslett also served as defensive coordinator for the WLAF's Sacramento Surge (1991-92) and the University at Buffalo (1989-90), where he joined the coaching profession in 1988 as linebackers coach.

Haslett originally entered the NFL as a second-round draft choice of the Buffalo Bills in 1979. As an inside linebacker, he would go on to win Associate Press Defensive Rookie of the Year that season and followed it up with an All-Pro selection in 1980. He played seven seasons for the Bills (1979-85) before finishing his career with the New York Jets in 1987.

Haslett was born Dec. 9, 1955, in Pittsburgh, where he attended Avalon High School. He played collegiately at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he was a three-time Little All-America selection, playing defensive end and linebacker. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2001.

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