Jim Haslett New Defensive Coordinator for Washington Redskins

Zack NallyCorrespondent IJanuary 13, 2010

ST. LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 19: Head coach Jim Haslett of the St. Louis Rams greets his players as the come off the field against the Dallas Cowboys at the Edward Jones Dome on October 19, 2008 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Rams beat the Cowboys 34-14.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Sources within the NFL announced today that former Saints head coach Jim Haslett has accepted an offer from the Washington Redskins to become their new defensive coordinator.

The former Buffalo linebacker was atop a long list of prospects that included Mike Zimmer of the Cincinnati Bengals. When the Bengals resigned Zimmer earlier this week, it was clear the deal between the 'Skins and Haslett would gel quickly.

Haslett has served as defensive coordinator for number of NFL teams including the New Orleans Saints, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Oakland Raiders, and the St. Louis Rams. While his pass defense has been noted for its success against the pass, Haslett's philosophy has recently changed from a 4-3 to a 3-4. 

In a defense crowded with defensive tackles and short on linebackers, it's a wonder what Haslett will do with Washington's current roster. The Redskins have the No. 3 pick in the draft and could really help elevate the linebacking corps with a pick like, say, Rolando McClain from Alabama.

If Dallas wins in Minnesota this weekend, their free agency acquisitions will be limited, opening the door for other NFC East teams, like Washington, to pursue hot prospects.

Haslett is considered a player's coach and, in a locker room divided by injury and losses, should do well to help bring the defense back together. 

It's important to note also that, while Haslett is being brought in to elevate the defense holistically, he must at least maintain the defense's performance. The Redskins defense ranked fourth in the league and 2008 and 10th last year. 

Haslett will most likely also bring with him veteran defensive line coach Tim Krumrie, a guy who could really encourage Haynesworth to bounce back from his injury and become a legitimate threat in the NFL again.

Mike Shanahan also plans on bringing in Bob Slowik, a former defensive coordinator of his in Denver, to possibly coach the 'Skins defensive backs. 

Either way, it's believed that Haslett will bring a more advanced and aggressive style of defense, something Washington desperately needs if they plan on staying competitive in the NFC East.