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Once on the ropes, 'mad scientist' Haslett turns around defense for playoff-bound Redskins


FILE - In this Nov. 4, 2012, file photo, Washington Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett watches from the sidelines during the second half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in Landover, Md. The Redskins were on pace to set all kinds of dubious defensive records, until Haslett started doing some creative tinkering in the second half of the season. (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File) (The Associated Press)

At the midpoint of the season, the Washington Redskins were on pace to become the worst pass defense in NFL history, the first to give up 5,000 yards through the air.

Needless to say, Jim Haslett's stock was a bit low at the time. When head coach Mike Shanahan was asked if there would be any midseason changes to his coaching staff, the defensive coordinator was at the top of the list.

Now Haslett is on another list, a possible candidate for one or more of the vacant head coaching jobs in the league. The transformation he's led in the second half of the season has been so remarkable that he's been dubbed "the mad scientist" by defensive tackle Barry Cofield.