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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Jim Haslett speaks candidly with fan about team plans, conversation ends up on Redskins blog

The information shared in a private conversation between Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett and a fan became public when the fan, eager to share his story with friends, wrote about the experience on a blog, forcing the coach to deny their meeting.

Hardcore Redskins fan Rod Denny was staying at a hotel for his daughter’s Hampton Roads volleyball tournament when he saw Jim Haslett hanging out in the hotel’s breakfast room. Denny says he did not want to bother Haslett, but then decided he should say something.

Haslett turned out to be very kind and open, chatting with Denny for about five minutes, even discussing the team’s quarterback plans. A few days later, Denny, who never disclosed that he planned to write about their meeting, wrote a story about the meeting on the Redskins fan site Hogs Haven.

Denny spent two paragraphs providing the background to their meeting and five paragraphs on the information he learned regarding the team’s quarterback plans. Denny wrote about the meeting in a “FanPost,” which is separate from the site’s main page which is more closely monitored by the site’s actual writers and editors.

In his post, Denny shared some inside information, saying that the Redskins were not interested in free agent Matt Flynn, that they were interested in Peyton Manning, and that they were disappointed with the quarterbacks in the draft aside from Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III.

Not long after Denny’s post was published, Washington Times reporter Rich Campbell called Haslett to ask about the story.

Haslett denied the information, telling Campbell “This must be a joke.” Haslett distanced himself from the report by saying as a defensive coach, he had no knowledge of the team’s offensive plans.

At least four more Redskins reporters contacted Haslett about the story, and he denied having knowledge of the team’s offensive plans to all of them.

Denny stood by his account of their conversation but understood why Haslett distanced himself from it.

“When I saw it was getting this much publicity I felt bad, and my wife got on me about it too,” Denny told Mike Wise on 106.7 the Fan. “I had no intention of going undercover or getting him in trouble or anything like that.

“If that were me and I found out some guy had put it out on the airwaves, I would probably deny it too,” Denny said. “Basically all it was was two guys talking football, and I really had no idea that it would be this big.”

Denny has probably learned that if he plans on publishing conversations with team members or employees he probably needs to identify himself as a website representative first. Although we understand his eagerness to share his story with friends, he did so on a powerful outlet and it hurt the team. Worst of all, he ruined any trust with the coach. Do you think Haslett will continue to be open with fans after this happened? Unfortunately, the answer is probably no.



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