Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett does not have a contract beyond this season, and there is a new coach on the staff — Raheem Morris, who oversees the secondary — whom many view as a potential replacement if Haslett and the team do not come to an agreement on an extension.
Morris, the former Bucs head coach, was seen as a Mike Tomlin-like riser through the coaching ranks at one point, although he clearly was not 100 percent ready for the challenge in Tampa. That said, many successful coaches have failed in their first head-coaching foray but have gone on to terrific runs as coordinators (or head coaches) elsewhere.
The Redskins clearly believe in Morris' talent, although they said at the time they added him to the staff that he was just another strong piece to their puzzle and not necessarily a replacement down the road for Haslett. It doesn’t hurt Morris’ cause that he and Kyle Shanahan, perhaps the eventual replacement to head coach Mike Shanahan one day, are close friends.
Although Haslett showed strong progress in his second year coaching in the system last season, with the Redskins' defense improving in several areas over the 2010 season, he is heading into the final year of his deal.
Many believe a strong showing again from Haslett could lead to him getting a deal to return, unless another team seeks him as a head coach or outspends the Redskins — not likely — to have him be their coordinator. There would be public pressure to bring back Haslett if the defense plays well, considering that the team has so much promise with QB Robert Griffin III. Also, the shortage of draft picks (down two more first-rounders to St. Louis in the Griffin trade) makes good coaching all the more important in the next few seasons, as the talent level could remain relatively static.
This is a situation to watch. No long-term decisions have been made. But from what PFW is hearing, don’t expect Haslett to get an extension anytime prior to the season. It’s likely he will need to prove himself with some good coaching once more to ensure his return in 2013.