Redskins' Jim Haslett defends results

December, 27, 2013
12/27/13
1:15
PM ET
ASHBURN, Va. -- Washington Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett doesn’t like to use numbers too often, especially when it comes to total yards. But in defending the Redskins’ defense, he did bring up what they’ve done since the first three games.

When you include the first three games, the Redskins have allowed 359.1 yards per game, which ranks 21st in the NFL. In the past 12 games, they’ve allowed 326.9 yards per game, which ranks ninth in the NFL. Of course, in the past 12 games they’ve allowed 30.0 points per game, partly because of punt returns and interception returns (five total). They’ve allowed 30.5 points per game for the entire season (the stat that matters more; yes, bad special teams have hurt as have turnovers.)

The point is, though, that Haslett has a different perspective. Here’s some more of what he had to say Thursday:

On whether or not the defense has the right personnel for a 3-4 scheme: “Take a couple things into account. People have to look at the salary-cap issues. You don’t have $36 million over two years to address needs. There’s a trickle-down effect. It affects players on the offense, defense and it affects your special teams. Obviously you can see that. … We have a nucleus to have a good team. Our first three games, we were awful. You can say what you want. I look at the way we played the last 12 games and it’s been pretty good. Maybe we haven’t had the ideal guys, exactly what you want, but they’ve played pretty well.”

On if he expects to return: “I don’t make those decisions. Would I like to be here? Of course. I like being around here. I like the players. I like you guys. I like the fans. Obviously, the fans are awesome. This is a great organization. It’s a shame we couldn’t do what we did last year and win our division – that’s the negative. Sure, I’d love to be here. You’d like to continue to build, and now you have the chance with all the salary-cap money, you can add pieces and have a pretty good team.”

On linebacker Brian Orakpo: “You have to have him back no matter what. He’s a heck of a player. He can do everything for you. He’s a good pass-rusher, he can cover, he’s really good in the run game. He’s a good person. He’s a team guy. He’ll do anything you ask him to do. He’s never balked at anything. You ask him to drop into coverage. You get some of those guys who can complain about it. He’s not one of those guys. He just wants to win games. He’s great for an organization.”

On his time in Washington: “I look at the positive part. It took us three years, we won the division championship, something they haven’t done here in 14 years. I’ll take that as a plus. Obviously we had high expectations this year, didn’t fall the way you want. But anytime, especially in the division you’re in, if you can win that division, I would say that’s a positive experience.”

John Keim

ESPN Washington Redskins reporter

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