As one of the few holdover coaches from the previous regime, Washington Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett understands his responsibility in shaping a better defensive unit in 2014.
Given the detrimental of effect of last year's distractions, Haslett is eager to get started on turning the page.
"I’ve never experienced anything like it before," he told Tarik El-Bashir of CSNWashington.com. "It’s hard. It’s hard on the coaches. And, like I said, I felt bad for the players. They had deal with it every day."
The Redskins lost the final eight games of the season amid rampant media speculation on the relationships between coaches, players and the front office.
"You didn’t give yourself a chance to win games down the stretch. You’re consumed with everything else but football," Haslett lamented.
"I love being around the players and being on the field. But once you’re off the field, then you have to go back and deal with all the distractions.
"I hope I never have to experience it again."
The Redskins finished the season ranked 18th in the NFL in overall defense, ranking 20th against the pass and 17th vs. the run.
With a full salary cap reinstalled after two seasons of heavy deductions, as well as eight defensive starters slated to hit free agency, Haslett expects new blood to take the defense in a new direction.
"Obviously, we’ll start fresh and won’t have those issues," he said. "Players will come in and they can worry about football."
Haslett told El-Bashir that he sensed the capabilities of the team were much closer to double-digit victories in 2014.
"I think we’re much closer to the 10-win season that we had [in 2012] than the three-win season we just had," he said.
"Hopefully, we never have to go through that again and we can just focus on football and get better as a group…and win some games."