Former NFL linebacker London Fletcher is not a huge fan of Washington Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett. Fletcher, who played under Haslett in Washington from 2010-13, is working as an analyst for CBS Sports on The Other Pregame Show. On Sunday, Fletcher was asked about the Redskins defense and he absolutely plastered Haslett, per Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post:

“Why does Jim Haslett still have his job as a defensive coordinator after five years now of just ineptitude at the defensive coordinator position?” Fletcher asked on CBS Sports Network’s That Other Pregame Show. “He’s clueless as a defensive coordinator. He lacks attention to detail. He lacks feel on how to call a game. Some of the calls he used to call when I was playing were head-scratching. They were so bad, I used to change them, like, ‘We’re not running that.’ And we’d get off the field and he would ask, ‘Why did you change the call.’ (I would say), ‘Because that’s just a dumb call. That’s why I changed it.’

“For years he has always made excuses. One minute it was ‘We’re changing from the 3-4 and we don’t have the right personnel.’ Next minute it is salary cap. Next minute it is Mike Shanahan. Next minute it is injuries. Mike Shanahan recognized early that this guy does not know what he is doing. And he tried to help him out….And what does Jim Haslett do? He threw [Shanahan] under the bus just like he throws everybody under the bus, players and coaches included.

“He is a guy that does not know what he is doing,” Fletcher went on. “And the Washington Redskins — and Jay Gruden in particular — better watch his back and get Jim Haslett out of the door….Jay Gruden better get him out the door because he’s probably back stabbing Jay Gruden like he did everybody else –- like he did to Scott Linehan in St. Louis and like he did to Mike Shanahan in Washington….

“This is a guy that would take the ’85 Bears and turn them into a mediocre defense,” Fletcher said. “He is clueless. He has no idea what he is doing. Believe me, I had a front row seat for four years.”

Wow. It is so incredibly rare to hear a player, even a retired one, go after his coach in such a public, angry manner. Fletcher feels Haslett tried to go behind some backs in the organization and decided to bring his issues with him to light, going after him with both barrels.

In fairness, Fletcher went on Twitter to warn people what was about to happen:

  Then, it happened.

Maybe Fletcher would next like to talk about the air-tight coverage displayed by this play yesterday in Washington’s 24-0 defeat to the St. Louis Rams:

Fletcher even said this directly to Haslett’s son on Twitter:

The former linebacker has plenty of merit to speak. During his terrific 15-year career, Fletcher went to the Pro Bowl four times, was twice named All-Pro, won Super Bowl XXXIV with the St. Louis Rams and set the NFL record with 215 consecutive starts for a linebacker. He also holds the mark for most tackles of the prior decade with 1,244.

Before going into coaching, Haslett was a player in the 1970’s and 80’s for the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets. Haslett first became a defensive coordinator in 1996 with the New Orleans Saints, a place he later became head coach at in 2000, lasting until 2005. Haslett’s defenses with Washington ranked 31st, 13th, 28th and 18th during Fletcher’s tenure. This year, the Redskins check in 11th in defense, but are 3-10.

[Washington Post]

About Matt Verderame

Matt Verderame, 26, is a New Yorker who went to school at the frozen tundra of SUNY Oswego. After graduating, Verderame has worked for Gannett and SB Nation among other ventures.

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