Jim Haslett


Jim Haslett, a standout NFL linebacker from 1979-87 and formerly head coach of the New Orleans Saints and St. Louis Rams, is in his second season as Bengals linebackers coach.

Jim Haslett, a standout NFL linebacker from 1979-87 and formerly head coach of the New Orleans Saints and St. Louis Rams, is in his second season as Bengals linebackers coach.

      This season is Haslett’s 32nd in the NFL. The first nine were as a player, and this is his 23rd season in coaching. He holds the three-part distinction of being the only person recognized as a College Football Hall of Fame member (as a player), an Associated Press NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and an AP NFL Coach of the Year.

      In 2016, Haslett’s unit helped the Bengals rank eighth in the NFL in fewest points allowed per game (19.7) and seventh in red-zone TD percentage (51.0). LBs Karlos Dansby and Vontaze Burfict finished 1-2 on the team in tackles, and LB Vincent Rey ranked fourth.

      “Jim is just a very outstanding and thorough football coach,” says Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis. “He has a tremendous background, including both as a head coach and a coordinator. It’s a wealth of expertise and ideas that he brings us.”

      Haslett (pronounced “HAZ-lett”) spent 2015 as a consultant to the Penn State University football program. His last NFL assignment was five years
(2010-14) as defensive coordinator with Washington, working under head coach Mike Shanahan for the first four seasons and head coach Jay Gruden for the final one.

      Haslett was head coach of the New Orleans Saints for six seasons
(2000-05) and was head coach of the St. Louis Rams for the last 12 games of ’08, after opening the season as defensive coordinator.

      He was was named Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year in 2000, when he took over the Saints and raised them from a 3-13 finish in 1999 to a 10-6 record and the NFC South championship. The Saints’ 31-28 Wild Card playoff win that season over St. Louis was the first postseason victory in New Orleans franchise history.

      Haslett’s New Orleans record was 46-52, including 1-1 in postseason. He ranks third in Saints history in career wins. In 2008, he took over as head coach of the St. Louis Rams, when Scott Linehan was released after an 0-4 start, and he directed the team’s only two victories on the year.

      Haslett was also a head coach in the developmental United Football League in 2009, leading the Florida Tuskers to a 6-0 record before the team lost in overtime in the league championship game to a Las Vegas club coached by former N.Y. Giants head coach Jim Fassel.

      A Pittsburgh native, Haslett was a four-time Little All-America defensive player (LB and DE) at Indiana (Pa.) University. He entered the NFL as a player in 1979, as a second-round draft choice of the Buffalo Bills. He earned AP Defensive Rookie of the Year honors in ’79 and was an All-Pro selection in ’80. He played eight seasons (1979-86) for the Bills and later was named to the franchise’s Silver Anniversary Team. He closed his playing career in 1987 with the N.Y. Jets.


     Playing and coaching history: 1975-78—Played LB and DE at Indiana (Pa.) University. 1979-86—Played LB for Buffalo Bills. 1987—Played LB for N.Y. Jets. 1988—Assistant coach (AC), University of Buffalo. 1989-90—Defensive coordinator, University of Buffalo. 1991-92—Defensive coordinator, Sacramento Surge (WLAF). 1993-94—AC, L.A. Raiders. 1995—AC, New Orleans Saints. 1996—Defensive coordinator, New Orleans Saints. 1997-99—Defensive coordinator, Pittsburgh Steelers. 2000-05—Head coach, New Orleans Saints. 2006-08—Defensive coordinator, St. Louis Rams. 2008—Head coach, St. Louis Rams (final 12 games). 2009—Head coach, Florida Tuskers (UFL). 2010-14—Defensive coordinator, Washington Redskins. 2015—Football consultant, Penn State University. 2016-present—AC, Cincinnati Bengals.

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