On Thursday, October 31, 2013, Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett addressed the media before an afternoon practice at Redskins Park in Ashburn, VA.
On safety Bacarri Rambo:
"I thought he did a nice job. For the game, he had one missed tackle which is outstanding and he had 12 tackles in the game. We went into the game starting Jose [Gumbs] and then when Jose got nicked he came in and you can see he's got his confidence back after that game and the way he practiced yesterday. I was proud of the way he played."
On three straight weeks of strong play from cornerback DeAngelo Hall:
"I think he's played well all season, but I think it's kind of caught on to everybody seeing that he's playing really well and he's shutting, for the most part – you know we put him on [Broncos wide receiver Demaryius] Thomas last week and Thomas is… really the long catch he had, he had 45-yards receiving, was on a screen that was just not a good call. But it wasn't really on DeAngelo. DeAngelo did a good job on him."
On if Hall will be matched up on Chargers tight end Antonio Gates:
"Well, we usually don't match a corner on a tight end, but he has the ability that he can do almost anything. We've put him on, obviously, big receivers. We've put him on quick, faster receivers, so he's got the ability to do anything if his mind is into it."
On where Hall has improved:
"I think a couple of years ago when he made the Pro Bowl I think he had a heck of a year and I think he's doing the same thing he did that year. We did the same kind of things with him then, but also I think that it helps because [cornerback] Josh [Wilson] is really playing well and [cornerback] David Amerson's coming into his own and he's playing well. I think it helps when you have three corners that are playing at a high level."
On if San Diego's no-huddle offense is any different than others they have seen this season:
"San Diego does it when they want to, they don't do it all the time. Denver, that's kind of their deal. They just do it all the time. I didn't think we had an issue with the no-huddle last week. We shuttled guys in and out. We had guys going in and we'll be ready to substitute if necessary."
On comments by safety Brandon Meriweather and how he looked at his first practice back:
"I already addressed his comments and truly believe Brandon is a good guy. He's a good person, and I don't think he'll do anything that's going to harm the football team. He said something out of emotion, the way he felt, and just knowing Brandon, the way he practiced yesterday, he'll stay within the rules and try to do what's best. He's not going to hurt our football team."
On the defensive turnaround this season:
"I feel good the way we've played the last four weeks on defense. We haven't put the perfect game together, but we've played pretty good. We had the four turnovers last week which I thought was big against that team. We did a nice job in the first half. We've got to do a better job in the second half even in the situations that we're put in – the defense has to step up and stop people. I think our guys feel good about where they're at right now and I'm looking forward to this upcoming game because, you know, we're playing a good football team, and our guys are excited about the opportunity."
On the challenges posed by Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers:
"I think he's an outstanding quarterback. He's almost at 75 percent completion, you know 74 percent. He gets the ball out of his hand fast. He doesn't get hit much. He has a very good knowledge obviously of the offense and what's going on. He's doing a heck of a job. They've got a great running game, really good receivers, a great tight end, so I think it's a great complement. They're number four in the league, we just played the number one team, he's number two in a lot of the categories as a quarterback, so again this is a great challenge for us… I'm saying the guy's a heck of a football player. He's only been sacked I think 11 times all year. He gets the ball out of his hand. He can read. Obviously, he's a big guy. It's a good challenge."
On Rivers' unorthodox delivery:
"I don't think anybody really cares how a quarterback throws as long as it gets there and it gets out of his hand fast and he has all of that."
On observers writing off Rivers after last season and saying he wasn't a great quarterback:
"I would totally disagree with that. I think he's an outstanding quarterback. I think he's doing a great job with the offense. Like I said, he's a big guy that moves well. He gets the ball out of his hand extremely fast; it's unbelievable how fast he gets it out. He's got a high percentage of completion. He's an accurate quarterback. He can throw it into tight windows."
On middle linebacker London Fletcher:
"I think London's the leader of our football team. He's kind of like [former Ravens middle linebacker] Ray Lewis when he was in Baltimore, that he runs everything, and London runs our football team – not just the defense, London runs our whole football team. He has great leadership skills. He has an innate ability to find the football. He still does great in pass coverage. London is one of the best of all-time."
On how Fletcher compensates for losing any physical skills:
"Everybody loses something when they get older. That's the way life is. Like I said, he's the best professional I've ever been around. He studies the game harder than anybody. He knows where the ball is going before the ball is snapped. He'll call out the plays out on the field. From that standpoint, you don't find guys like that. They don't make guys like this. Very rarely do they come along in a coach's life do you have a guy you can walk up to and say something to him and he takes it out to the field and implements it. It doesn't happen. You've got to walk through it with most guys. You show it to them, show them on film. London can take something I tell him and he'll walk out on the field and get it done. I mean, you just don't find guys like that."
On Fletcher's mental ability:
"He's the best I've ever been around from that standpoint."
On the performance of defensive end Jarvis Jenkins against Denver:
"I think Jarvis had an outstanding game last week. I thought our line played excellent. We were just trying to get Jarvis going, get him in. He was a little bit over 30 plays. He was kind of where we want to get all of those guys – 30-35 plays a game. I thought Jarvis played his best game he's played this year. I expect him to get better and better."
On if linebacker Brian Orakpo's three sacks on the season are disappointing:
"No, because last week he got chipped 22 times. The tight end was there 22 times. So that will tell you something about who everybody thinks, 'This guy has the ability to get a lot of sacks.' So they were trying to take Brian out of the game. So he got chipped a lot, he got hit a lot. That kind of happens and plus you don't get a lot of sacks on [Denver Broncos quarterback] Peyton [Manning] anyway. The guy gets, what, he's only been sacked nine times all year. The guy gets the ball out of his hands fast and it just shows you when they stick a tight end over there to chip him before he comes off, you know, just what kind of guy he is… I think that's all the time with him. Everybody's targeting somebody and they target 'Rak."
On the challenges of coaching a player with hearing impairment, such as safety Reed Doughty:
"It's a grind because, one, it's hard to communicate, obviously. It's hard to communicate on the field with him and we've got to do hand signals. He's got to make sure we have the hand signals because he doesn't hear sometimes on the field because of the crowd noise. So we've got to make sure of the hand signals so he sees what coverage we're in, if we change the coverage, whatever. So there's a lot of things as a coach that I've never had to experience until I came here with Reed. But just watching Reed and the way he is, the true professional that he is – he does everything to a T. He's like a coach on the field. Whatever you say he takes to the field. So I think there's more of a sense of he focuses in on what he has to do because he knows that he could lose something from that standpoint from he can't hear everything that everybody's saying all the time."
On how Doughty compensates for that:
"He's a coach – everything you say, he takes to the field. If something changes, you've got to wait until you get to the sidelines to talk to him because you can tell he's in a massive panic out there. It is a heck of a challenge for coaches. Like if I'm in a meeting room, I'll talk to him and I know he didn't hear me, so I have to wait until I get him to go one-on-one with him sometimes, but he's outstanding doing it."
On if he believes Fletcher's mistakes are related to his age:
"I've got a couple other guys who are 22 years old and had some bad games, too. So that happens."
On how much longer he believes Fletcher can play:*
"I don't know. I can't get into it. I was 31 when I knew I was done. Guys know when they're done. They don't want to admit it, but they know when they're done. I knew I was done at 31. Somehow I tricked them for another year, but they know. Everybody knows."