Haynesworth Discusses Orakpo, and NFL Hate
When Albert Haynesworth is inactive, he doesn't like to talk to the players who are actually on the field battling. So last Thursday, he figured he'd just stand there and watch. But rookie Brian Orakpo kept coming up to him during the game to chat, asking Haynesworth how he was doing in his preseason debut, talking defensive strategy, and so on.
"I like to leave guys alone during the game, especially if I'm not playing, but he'd come up like, 'What did you think about that?' " Haynesworth said after the game. "So I'm watching him, to see if I can get a feel for how he plays and then I can play off of him....He's faster than [former Titans teammate Kyle] Vanden Bosch, and quicker. He's definitely gonna help me a lot. He's gonna benefit off of me, but I'm definitely gonna benefit a lot off of him, too."
That was the sentiment across the locker room, where Andre Carter nodded when told of Haynesworth's assessment.
"I mean, just the threat of [Orakpo's] speed, that's what scares offensive tackles," Carter said. "And the guards as well, because now the guards are like, 'Oh shoot, I've got to help this guy out as well.' Him being there, it's gonna be great. I'm on the left side at end; having those one-on-one opportunities for me is gonna be special."
Haynesworth, in fact, said he'd like to see Orakpo get even more snaps at defensive end, so the pair could work in tandem. He also said the rookie is better positioned than he was when he came into the NFL.
"I probably wasn't ready to be in the league; I kind of had to grow into being that professional athlete," Haynesworth said. "I think he's more mature. He's got a feel for the game already, and he's in here working, and he listens."
(As for the results Thursday night, Haynesworth would tell you not to worry, calling preseason games "kind of like a glorified scrimmage.")
Away from the field. Haynesworth is still learning the D.C. geography. He had originally been looking at houses in Alexandria, before he was advised that the commute to Ashburn would be too far. He visited Tony & Joe's Seafood Place in Georgetown, later asking a reporter whether that was part of the District. And he told ESPN.com's Matt Mosley that he likes going to Walmart because "you can get a 24-pack of water for $3.99," but later lamented that he has yet to find a NoVa Walmart.
"I think my mom has found one, but I haven't had a whole lot of time to go look for one yet," he said. "I kind of miss it. I'm having Super Wamart withdrawals. I mean, you've got everything in a Super Walmart. They have people who damn near do your taxes at Super Walmart."
He's also trying to get used to suburban sprawl. For example, he recently stopped in at Sweetwater Tavern, the LoCo restaurant that constantly hosts NFL players.
"I thought I was in Ashburn, they said I was in Sterling," he reported. "I was like, 'I've been looking for Sterling.' It's like they're connected."
Indeed, like they're two bricks, with gas stations and Olive Gardens as the mortar. Took me a while to get used to that, too. As for more salient transitions, Mosley asked Haynesworth which of his new NFC East rivals he hated the most.
"I hate all of them equally," he said. "All the other 31 teams. Any team that ain't the Redskins, I don't like."
I asked whether this meant he hated the Redskins last year, but he said it didn't apply much, since the teams didn't face each other in '08. The hate, he said, applies to "any team that I play."
"I hate every team equally," he repeated. "That's a high, high hate."
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