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Jim Haslett Full Transcript: 11/14

On Thursday, November 14, 2013, Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett addressed the media before an afternoon practice at Redskins Park in Ashburn, VA.

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On what he can learn from the game in Week 1:
"There's a lot to learn from that one. Obviously we've got to do a much better job in the run game. Overall I think you have a better understanding of what they're doing scheme-wise, so I think that area will help us also."
 
On Philadelphia's pace:
"The pace is the pace. You've got to deal with it, and we've seen a lot of that this year obviously from Denver, San Diego and a bunch of teams, so that should help us also."
 
On second half struggles in the last few games:
"The last game, you've got to take away the third downs. We weren't very good in that area. We had a lot of third-and-shorts that we should have got off. We didn't tackle well in those third downs. Then we had a couple of penalties – three or four penalties that hurt us that kept drives going. We could have had a couple of stops and we've just got to do a much better job in that area."
 
On his assessment of the pass rush:
"We'll do that when it's all over, but you talk about last week, we had a number of times we had great pass rushes, and that's not an excuse. I don't know how many times [linebacker] Ryan [Kerrigan], 'Rak [linebacker Brian Orakpo] had opportunities to get to the quarterback where they were grabbed and held. To me that was more disappointing than anything, but I thought there was a number of times we did a nice job last week of rushing the quarterback. We just didn't get there more for that reason than anything."
 
On if he is content with the effectiveness of the base defense's pass rush:
"Yeah, I think those two are really good football players. [Nose tackle] Barry [Cofield] has got a number of sacks – he's doing a good job. Obviously we want to get better in all areas. We have to do a better job in that area also."
 
On the difference in having safety Brandon Meriweather this week as opposed to Week 1:
"You can see Brandon is getting his legs under him. He's starting to feel good. He's starting to move well. Coming back from the injury a year ago you can see he's starting to get better and better every day when he's out on the practice field, so I think it will help immensely."
 
On what Meriweather allows them to do differently:
"He can cover wideouts because he's an ex-corner. He's gives you flexibility. He's good in the box, he's a good tackler. He does a lot of different things for us."
 
On the difference in Eagles quarterback Nick Foles this season and in this system:
"I think Nick is playing at a great level. You know, he's the highest rated quarterback in the National Football League. He's got a 135 rating, [16] touchdowns, no interceptions, has only been sacked 10 times. I think Nick's doing a heck of a job within in the scheme, and then they've got a good offensive line, they've got good receivers, and a great running back, so I think that helps. Obviously I think Nick is playing about as good as he can play."
 
On how Foles changes the read option element of the Eagles' offense:
"It hasn't changed at all. Nick's run the ball 20 times – he's run the ball 20 times for 80 yards. Now they'll still run the zone read, they still run the option, they don't do anything different than they've done before. It's just instead of maybe a 10-yard gain it's a six-yard gain. Nick's got 20 rushing attempts for 80 yards this year."
 
On the danger the Eagles present in the open field:
"They make people tackle one-on-one in space. They use the whole field. They stretch you out. They stretch your point in the run game. They make you play one-on-one and tackle in the pass game. So you've got to be able to do a good job. Everybody's got to rally to the ball, and you've got to run to the ball, you've got to get off blocks and make tackles and when you have that opportunity to tackle somebody in space you've got to bring them down."
 
On if he will be more aggressive with his defensive play calling:
"We'll try to do whatever we can do if the opportunity arises, but obviously there's things you can do based on who you're playing, personnel, all that stuff. But we're always looking to do something to help us win the game."
 
On if there are any pieces he would have liked to add to the defense this season:
"You know what, I can't say that right now. That's something you do when the season's over – you go back and look at it and you evaluate everything – your scheme, the players, all that stuff. Right now we're just in that mode of trying to win one game and then move on from there. That's kind of where it's at right now."
 
On if the team began looking past the "one game at a time" mantra last year once it began winning and if it could do so again:
"I think our guys believe they can do it again. I said last year at this time, I made a comment to Coach, I said, 'We're going to win these next seven games and win our division.' I said it last week, I said, 'I feel good about where we're at.' I love the way our guys practice and they're into it. Teams that are going downhill don't practice the way we practice. Those teams are negative. We don't have that here. We've just got to go out and put a whole game together. I'm talking about offense, defense, special teams. We've got to put a complete game together on defense, offense, special teams. We do that then we'll get things rolling and we haven't done that. We've done it on defense – a good half here, a bad half here, good three quarters here, bad quarter here. We need to put the whole thing together. The [first] half at Minnesota, they had 127 yards and they end up with 300. It's just those things. Philadelphia the first half, we were like the guinea pigs. They got 300-something, but we did a good job in the second half. So we just haven't put it all together. I think once as a team we get one of those, we get it together, then you can get things rolling."
 
On how hesitant the defense was against the Eagles in Week 1:
"I know one person that watches the tape and that's you. So if you're asking that question then you saw a lot of that. You saw guys trying to figure out the scheme and all that. I think we'll be much better this time."
 
On if the defense hesitated less in the second half of that game:
"Yes, we did, because we got a little more aggressive. Guys knew what was going on."
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