Redskins hire Haslett to run defense

Former Saints coach Jim Haslett has signed a three-year contract to become the Redskins’ defensive coordinator, according to league sources.

Haslett takes over for Greg Blache, who is expected to retire, and joins new coach Mike Shanahan‘s staff. Haslett interviewed with Washington on Monday and had been scheduled to interview in New York for the Giants’ defensive coordinator job later this week.

Look for Haslett to invoke lots of 3-4 elements in this defense — Shanahan reportedly is intrigued by that scheme. Haslett could bring defensive line coach Tim Krumrie with him, but the Redskins also interviewed former Giants assistant Mike Waufle as a defensive line coach candidate Monday, at a time when Haslett also was interviewing. Longtime Shanahan associate Bob Slowik will be a part of the staff as well, sources said, likely coaching in the secondary in some capacity.

Sources said Rick Venturi is a strong candidate to be the Redskins’ linebackers coach, and the team also has asked for and been granted permission to interview Lou Spanos, who spent the last 15 years as an assistant linebackers coach with the Steelers, who run a 3-4 defense (Haslett ran a 3-4 when he coached in Pittsburgh as well).

Current secondary coach Jerry Gray, who interviewed for the Redskins’ defensive coordinator and head-coaching jobs but received neither, is a candidate to remain on staff. Redskins safeties coach Steve Jackson, who interviewed to remain on staff in some capacity Tuesday, also could stay.

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