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Redskins hire Haslett as defensive coordinator

The Washington Redskins named Jim Haslett as their defensive coordinator on Friday, the team announced in a statement.

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 replaces Greg Blache, who retired following 22 seasons as an NFL assistant, including the last six with the Redskins.

"Greg Blache has been integral to the success of the Redskins defense over the last two years, and I regret that I won't be able to work with him," Shanahan said. "We'll miss his discipline, his loyalty, and his consistency, and wish all the best to Greg and his family in his retirement."


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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.

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.

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