The Redskins defense is down a couple of starters, which will make coordinator Jim Haslett’s life a lot more difficult.
Replacing linebacker Brian Orakpo and defensive lineman Adam Carriker won’t be easy for the ‘Skins, but at least Haslett knows that a failure to do so won’t seriously impact his job security. Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said Wednesday, via Jason Reid of the Washington Post, that the team extended Haslett’s contract before the season got underway. They didn’t announce any terms of the deal, although Chris Russell of 980 ESPN Radio in Washington reports that the deal runs through 2013 and contains a “hefty” raise.
Russell reports that Shanahan made the announcement on the same day that a rumor was making the rounds that Haslett had been usurped as defensive play caller by Raheem Morris. Shanahan didn’t address that, but Russell spoke to several people around the Redskins organization that shot down the notion as “preposterous.”
Haslett does have a tough job ahead of him, but the defense needs to come up with better answers than they had after Carriker and Orakpo were knocked out of the Rams game. It’s hoped that having a week to work with the players on hand will lead to better results than making changes on the fly.
The Redskins also extended the contract of longtime special teams coach Danny Smith, who has come under some fire after the team had punts blocked in each of their first two games. That continues a trend from last season, when the team had five field goal attempts blocked. Those blocks didn’t cost Smith the trust of the organization, obviouly, so it’s fair to guess that this year’s won’t either.