The Redskins defense was not a strong suit last season, leading to some surprised reactions about their decision to bring Jim Haslett back for another year as their defensive coordinator.
One of Haslett’s charges thinks that the move has the potential to be a good one because Haslett will be able to run his defense without any interference from former head coach Mike Shanahan. Cornerback DeAngelo Hall said on ESPN 980, via Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post, that Shanahan “liked to micromanage things” and that he’s excited to see Haslett “unleash his full arsenal of play calls” thanks to Jay Gruden’s different style.
“And like I told Haz years ago, when I was kind of getting handcuffed as a player, I told him I understand you’re getting handcuffed as a coach,” Hall said. “Imagine how I feel as a player being told that I have to do something a certain way, because I’ve always stressed to people that playing corner, it’s chess. It’s not let me stand right here and you catch this ball. … So Haz definitely understood where I was coming from as a player. And I felt him, because he definitely as a coach needs to be able to kind of play chess with the other coordinator too.”
It will help if Haslett is playing chess with a full complement of pieces rather than a slew of pawns and a couple of battered rooks, something that the Redskins will try to address in free agency with a fuller pocketbook than they’ve had at their disposal in recent years.