I was going to poke holes in Albert Haynesworth's latest beef against the Washington Redskins. I was going to dissect his points and remind all that one person played a huge role in the downturn of Haynesworth’s career: Haynesworth himself.
Then I decided it would just be silly. I’ll offer a brief assessment of Haynesworth and then let him have the stage so you can get a good chuckle.
Maybe he has some good points, but they get lost because of how he thinks he worked while he was here. One coach from his two-year era said Haynesworth was a bad worker, cutting corners at every turn. Even at the time, when teammates spoke of him, they’d talk about how they liked him but that he didn’t quite “get it.” When he was signed, a respected NFC general manager warned this would be a bad signing; too many red flags in Haynesworth’s past. Even his former defensive line coach in Tennessee, Jim Washburn, said Haynesworth once told him his goal was to be “the richest person in the world.”
And if Haynesworth really wanted to be a Hall of Famer, would he have let alterations in how he was used block him? He would have been a terror as a 3-4 nose tackle with his size and quickness (though, sure, he’s better as a 4-3 tackle. Still, point is: Two bad years ruined those Hall of Fame chances? Come on).
Anyway, that’s out of the way. Here’s a full transcript of what he said, courtesy of the nation's No. 1 transcriber, the Washington Post's Dan Steinberg. But here are a few highlights:
“Then, after that year of playing and not doing ANYTHING like we did in Tennessee…then we get [Mike] Shanahan in there, aka Red Lobster, as Fred Smoot says. He comes in and completely changes the defense to a 3-4, where I’m reading. I’m not doing things that I normally do -- exploding and shooting the gaps and creating havoc -- I’m staying on the line, going left and right. Not even going forward.
"I mean, it's like, you can't win with that team. And you think it was just me? I mean, look how he did Donovan [McNabb]. See what's going on with RGIII. I met RGIII. He seemed like an extremely nice guy that's willing to work. Now he's gonna learn -- I mean, I hate to say he's gonna learn -- about [Mike Shanahan], how he's conniving and everything like that, where he's not gonna help him out, it's all about him." The host then pointed out that Shanahan has two Super Bowls to his credit. "He hasn't won a playoff game since Elway retired.” (Note: He’s won one game since that time).
“... when I signed that deal -- which to me was the worst mistake in my life. You could say yeah I got paid a lot of money -- I don’t really care about the money. If I knew it was gonna be like that, I never would have went. I never would have went. I guarantee. Because my goal was to be a Hall of Famer and to be one of the greatest defensive tackles to play the game, not just to go and make money at Washington and in two years my career be over there. I mean, that’s not what I’m about. Yeah, I love to make money, but I can make money playing the game and not just some free agent bust or whatever.”
You might find this hard to believe, but I don't miss covering what was the Haynesworth train wreck.