Are Jim Haslett’s Days Numbered in DC?


First of all, lets all take a deep breath and repeat: 59-28, 59-28, 59-28, 59-28, fifty-nine – twenty-eight, cincuenta y nueve – veintiocho…Better?

Of course not.

I was there live to witness the ‘Monday Night Massacre’ as it has officially been dubbed and my best advice is lets all just try to put it in the back of our minds for the time being.

The same way that “a win is a win” in the NFL, “a loss is a loss” no matter how bad it is. The team itself must move on and based on Chris Cooley’s comments Tuesday during an interview on “The Lavar Arrington Show w/Chad Dukes” on 106.7 ‘The Fan”, that’s exactly what they’re going to try and do.

"Can we continue to build? Can we get better? What is our real character? What’s the character? If we have guys that care, we’ll go to work tomorrow. You have to put it past you. We can’t cry about it all week and then go get our ass kicked in Tennessee. We have to go to work tomorrow, and everyone has to show up, and everyone has to get over it. I don’t even know how you take it. I don’t think it’s a lesson. I just think it’s embarrassing…"

Now with that being said, the offense did put up 28 points on Monday night, which is generally a pretty decent performance in an NFL game. The defense, however, is probably still warming up in the tunnel at FedEx, being that they never took the field Monday night.

So who’s to blame for the downfall of the Redskins defense? Is it the new 3-4 scheme that Jim Haslett has been trying to implement? Is it the personnel that the Redskins have on defense?

Redskins defensive ranking/overall record over the last 10 years:

  • 2009 – 10th (4-12)
  • 2008 – 4th (8-8)
  • 2007 – 8th (9-8) *Playoffs
  • 2006 – 31st (4-12)
  • 2005 – 9th (11-7) *Playoffs
  • 2004 – 3rd (6-10)
  • 2003 – 25th (5-11)
  • 2002 – 5th (7-9)
  • 2001 – 10th (8-8)
  • 2000 – 4th (8-8)

The Redskins average approximately an 11th ranked defense over the last ten years and if you remove the 06 and 03 campaigns they average a fifth ranked D.

So what’s changed from year to year? Washington has shuffled defensive coordinators a few times and still had success, the Redskins also have had starters come and go on this side of the ball including Marcus Washington, Fred Smoot (twice), LaVar Arrington, Sean Taylor (Rest in Peace) and even Champ Bailey. Through everything though, the Skins usually put out a solid defensive unit and the only thing that hasn’t changed is the scheme.

Jim Haslett is not a terrible coach but right now in Washington, he is not the man the Redskins need. His 3-4 scheme caused an uproar with big man Albert Haynesworth and while the defense is causing turnovers, no amount of turnovers can mask giving up 415.3 yards per game. Haslett is either going to have to change the scheme eventually or leave (if he’s lucky enough to do so by his own will). The reason I say all of this is because if one thing has been a staple for the Redskins over the last decade, it’s been their ability to rely on the defense to keep them in games. If Washington had this 2010 offense with any one of their previous defensive units, they would have been a strong favorite to make the playoffs.

The head coach is here to stay. Donovan, despite all the clauses in the world worked into his contract, is most likely here to stay so the offense isn’t going anywhere. The defense has to either shape up fast or be prepared for a major overhaul in the offseason.