- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Washington Redskins announced Wednesday that they have hired Larry Coyer as an advance scout. Coyer worked under current Redskins coach Mike Shanahan when Shanahan was the coach of the Denver Broncos. He was Denver's defensive coordinator from 2003-06, and held the same position with the Indianapolis Colts from 2009-11.
I bring this up because I know people are going to ask. Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett is the Redskins' assistant most often the target of fan wrath, and there was a large segment of the Redskins' fan population that spent last season convinced Shanahan would fire Haslett (in spite of some of us consistently telling you he would not). Now, when the Redskins' defense inevitably struggles, some will wonder whether Coyer, a former Shanahan defensive coordinator, was brought on board as a replacement-in-waiting for Haslett.
I don't think so. Haslett is the man Shanahan picked to bring with him to Washington and convert the Redskins from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 defense. He has expressed no dissatisfaction whatsoever with the choice or with the job Haslett has done. If you look at what happened to the Redskins on defense last season with injuries and other personnel issues, the job Haslett did holding the defense together week-to-week while the Redskins made their run to the division title was actually one of the better coaching jobs in the entire league. I believe Haslett to be safe.
Just as was the case earlier in the offseason when the Redskins added former Chargers GM A.J. Smith to the front office, I think this is Shanahan taking the opportunity to bring on board someone whose opinion he respects, to add a helpful voice to the meeting rooms and the planning process. I really wouldn't read any more into it than that. Coming off a division title and with Robert Griffin III looking set to lead the Redskins into the future at quarterback, there's more stability around the Redskins right now than there has been in quite some time.