Albert Haynesworth defends Dan Snyder
Albert Haynesworth hasn't opened up much lately with the local media, which is a shame, because he remains a tremendous quote, smart, funny and honest. Thursday night, he appeared on Sirius NFL Radio's "Late Hits" with Bryan McGovern and Ross Tucker, and talked about his own performance, the Redskins as a team, and the upcoming meeting with the Falcons.
Most interesting, perhaps, was Haynesworth's response when asked about the John Riggins "bad guy" rantabout Daniel Snyder.
"Well, I talk to him at least once a week if not [more often]," Haynesworth said, which is probably not welcome news to a lot of fans who worry about Snyder's involvement in the football side. "They're usually 15-, 20-, even 30-minute conversations sometimes, depends on what the day is looking like. You know, he's just a big fan. He's a guy who will do anything to get the right players and to win. That's what he wants to do, he wants to win.
"Most of all our conversations start out, like 'How can we win? Can we win this week? What do you think?' and things like that. I see nothing wrong with that. I mean, I've had an owner that was absent and came to probably two or three games that I saw a year, and I have an owner now that's there the majority of the week, coming out to practice and really concerned with his team and trying to figure out how to make his team better and to make us succeed and make all the fans happy. You know, I've never met John Riggins or anything like that, I don't know what [critics] have against Mr. Snyder. But as far as I know, I mean, he's a guy who has the money and he wants to win and he'll do almost anything to win."
Of course, a lot of fans believe that what's required to win is an emergency rescue mission for the offensive line. Haynesworth didn't link the two issues together, but he's obviously noticed what's going on the other side of the ball.
"The thing about Jason on our team is it's really just getting him comfortable back there," Haynesworth said, when asked specifically about Jason Campbell. "You know, our offensive line is struggling and Jason is getting hit a lot, and it's hard for him just to set his feet and throw the ball or even look downfield to throw the ball. Once we can address things like that, as far as holding the protection and not getting him hit, I think you'll see him flourish."
He was also asked about the recent Sports Illustrated players poll in which he finished tied for second on the list of dirtiest NFL players.
"I mean, gosh. I can't believe I'm still the second-dirtiest player in the NFL," he joked. He said the ranking probably stems from his head-stomping incident, and that he's changed since then. The hosts asked him how he's changed.
"Well, one, I'm not stomping on anybody's head any more, so that's a big difference," he joked.
And he was asked about the great dose of negativity administered by the local media this season.
"You know, you can't really even listen to it or look at it," he said. "We're a tight-knit family, us being the Skins, and the organization. They told me when I came that the media was brutal and you can expect the worst, I guess."
(The D.C. sports media, brutal? Maybe this year. Maybe. But I can't imagine the D.C. sports media has ever had a reputation for brutality.)
As for the team, Haynesworth said the defense has been playing "lights-out football" and that the team needs a win to "get our confidence back and show that hey, this is a pretty good team, we CAN compete with other people."
He was also asked to judge his own performance. This is always a controversial subject around here; ESPN.com's Matt Mosley has taken several shots, calling Haynesworth the NFC East's biggest underachiever and writing this week that Haynesworth was supposed to transform the defense into a dominant unit, and that "I haven't seen anything close to dominance." The boys at Mister Irrelevant strongly disagree with the shots at Haynesworth. Anyhow, here's the big man's assessment of his showing.
"I think it's been okay," he said. "It hasn't been the best, that I want. I haven't jumped out in the sack numbers or anything, but it's been okay. And when I came to the Redskins, I told people not to look at my numbers, look at everybody else's numbers around me. That's how you'll be able to judge if I'm effective or not, or if I'm doing what they thought I was gonna do.
"And if you look at it, I don't keep up with this stuff, but my agent of course prepped me for this interview--he told me that my defensive end, Andre Carter, he has like [6.5] sacks. Last year he only had four the whole season, and he has [6.5] in the first half, so that's helping. ...The sacks are up and pressures and some turnovers and things like that, so I think me coming here has helped and helped other players. I mean, would I like to benefit more from it? Yes, but I'd also like to get more wins out of it, too."
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