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Albert Haynesworth: Redskins are back to normal


(By John McDonnell - TWP)

Albert Haynesworth has been perceptive, thoughtful and honest throughout his 12 months in Washington, so his final thoughts on the Jim Zorn Era seem worth repeating. And yes, the statute of limitations for Zorn horror stories is about to run out, but until that bell rings, might as well land a few more shots.

Haynesworth's Monday appearance on Sirius XM was largely to discuss the team's switch to a 3-4 defense and his own offseason workouts, but as long as he was there, hosts Adam Schein and Rich Gannon asked him about the chaos of the 2009 campaign.

"We had too many chiefs and not enough Indians," Haynesworth said, referring to the coaching staff. "That's kind of what it was, everybody wanting to be that guy. It was kind of a llittle ridiculous. Now we've got one chief, and some Indians to follow him....

"You know, I'm used to Jeff Fisher being that guy and everybody answering to him," Haynesworth said a few moments later, when asked if the structure a year ago surprised him. "We only [saw owner] Bud Adams a few times in the building, ever. That's what I was used to, not with all this play-caller changes, we're gonna do this, now we're gonna do that. It was really different. Really different. And now you've got a respected coach in there, I think it'll get back to the normal NFL norm."

Forget a "Return to Normalcy;" I'm all in favor of a "Return to the Normal NFL Norm." So, did the team's expedition away from such normalcy hurt team chemistry inside the locker room? Haynesworth suggested that it did not.

"The players, we stuck together," he said. "I think it was more between the coaches, honestly. I've never been on a team where the head coach is calling the plays, and you have an offensive coordinator, and he doesn't call any plays, then you bring in another guy to observe, and then a couple weeks later he's calling the plays. I mean, that was real strange to us."

"Strange" is as apt a word as any. The most damning comments, though, came when Haynesworth was asked to pass judgment on Jason Campbell's prospects. Haynesworth had publicly supported the quarterback several times last season, and here he did so again, in the process scuffing a bit more dirt on Jim Zorn's pants.

"I mean, the guy, he can play," Haynesworth said of Campbell. "He can play. He's got some things he's got to work on, but what quarterback doesn't other than Peyton Manning and Tom Brady? The guy, he's a good player, he can be one of the top quarterback in the NFL.

"I would talk to him and he would tell me some of the things they would call. It could be third-and-7, and he said they'll call a play that was for third-and-3. And I was like, 'Dude, why don't you change it, why don't you change the play?' He was like, 'If I change the play, they'll get mad, and I'll hear all about that stuff.' It was really different. I didn't quite understand some of that stuff."

Well, that does seem hard to understand, but maybe this explains why Jason Campbell seemed to throw three-yard patterns on so many third-and-long situations.

I'm taking some of these questions in a different order than they appeared, but Haynesworth's overall message about the direction of the organization was overwhelmingly positive, especially concerning Mike Shanahan.

"I think with him being at the helm it's gonna be awesome," he said. "I don't think you'll hear anything from Dan Snyder as far as commenting on the team, other than maybe some little stuff, like regular owners. I think it's all gonna be in Mike's hands and Bruce Allen's hands."

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 22, 2010; 2:56 PM ET
Categories:  Media , Redskins  
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Next: Boudreau and his goalies

Comments

Foist!!!

The less Dan Snyder, the better.

Posted by: Rocky420 | March 22, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Zorn and Cerrato couldn't have been a worse match. One couldn't select the players and the other couldn't coach the ones he did have.

And when you add in that Blache was at war with half the defensive players over where they were playing or how they were supposed to play, you can see this organization in 2008-2009 was dysfunctional at best.

When you operate this way you get to 4-12 and the cellar in the NFC East.

What's also clear is that Zorn wasn't respected by many of the players in the locker room. He was like a speed bump on the road, which the players hit and went over with little regard for him otherwise.

They didn't dislike him, but worse they just didn't regard him at all.

Posted by: leopard09 | March 22, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Its gonna be so nice to watch the redskins this year. Players being utilized the correct way and more discipline! If we get a couple more solid O-linemen we could be in pretty good standings in the next yr or 2! This thing cant get turned around overnight but I can definately see some light at the end of the dark, dark tunnel that Vinny created. I put my trust in Shanny and Allen! HAIL!

Posted by: goskinsgo1 | March 22, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Shanny aint no pushover like zorn! You cant be a nice guy and be successful as a coach! Noone respects a nice guy and they take advantage... cough cough (Portis)

Posted by: goskinsgo1 | March 22, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Albert will be fine for the pre-season but don't expect him to be much help when the Skins start losing during the regular season

His past position on the DL in a 4-3 is vastly different than a nose tackle in the 3-4 and he will deal with that EVERY game

Expect him to complain early and often

Posted by: Bious | March 22, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

"I would talk to him and he would tell me some of the things they would call. It could be third-and-7, and he said they'll call a play that was for third-and-3."

How does this scuff dirt on Zorn's pants when he wasn't calling plays?

A dead fish stinks from the head down they say - right Snyder?

Posted by: AlohaFan | March 22, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

But can Snyder keep his trap shut and sit on his hands for 3 years while Shan-allen rebuilds? I am extremely skeptical.

Posted by: Pepper5 | March 22, 2010 11:49 PM | Report abuse

zorn was quoted last year as saying something like "if HE (Campbell) changes my play, he's coming out..." do any you remember that?

Posted by: dcjazzman | March 23, 2010 3:01 AM | Report abuse

@dcjazzman it was when sonny jurgensen said he would have changed a play and zorn said if sonny was his qb he'd take him out

Posted by: remarkable4real | March 23, 2010 5:07 AM | Report abuse

Is normal where your $100 mil lineman is a big tub of goo who gets winded on the first series of the game? That is my memory of Fat Albert in the Zorn era.

Posted by: calhokie | March 23, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I felt sorry all last year for Campbell. if he wasnt getting stomped into the mud, that dope Zorn was calling riduculous plays.

Posted by: djv123 | March 23, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Albert is the best lineman we have by far. As true redskins fans you guys have to start supporting the team. Albert was the best free agent available last year by every count and on every "expert" list. There was a reson for it.

Yes he gets tired, because he is so big, but he gives it all and demands double or tripple team everytime. There is a rason why Carter had the best season of his career.

Let's support our team and make our players welcome, instead of being jealous of how much money they make. Market sets their price. Stop worrring about how much every player makes.

Posted by: capitolteacher | March 23, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

As another fan wrote on redksins.com

2009 Skins sacks- 40
2008 Skins sacks- 24

2009 Tenn sacks- 32
2008 Tenn sacks- 44

Haynesworth (directly or indirectly) in one year, affected 28 sacks for 2 teams.

A blind man could tell we are better with him, and Tenn. is worse without him. PERIOD.

Posted by: capitolteacher | March 23, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Albert, for shedding light on the play-calling fiasco that went to undermine Jason and the rest of the team. I sure would love to hear Jason's confirmation of the third down play-calling.

Posted by: truthbeknown | March 23, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

BRAVO @ capitolteacher

The guy goes up against 600+ lbs on every play, cut the guy some slack! Lets not forget to add that our offense consistently were three and out...who wouldn't be tired!?

I agree the guy is a little weird and his interviews are not the best but so what.

Posted by: nss09 | March 23, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

@dcjazzman it was when sonny jurgensen said he would have changed a play and zorn said if sonny was his qb he'd take him out

Posted by: remarkable4real

remarkable4real the conversation was about JC changing plays, which led Sonny to make his remarks about changing a play. JC is too much of team player to say anything bad about Zorn or the playcalling. I hope Shanny is as perceptive as most thinks that he is and realizes that JC can be a franchise QB. We shall see.

Posted by: SPUD2 | March 23, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

As another fan wrote on redksins.com

2009 Skins sacks- 40
2008 Skins sacks- 24

2009 Tenn sacks- 32
2008 Tenn sacks- 44

Haynesworth (directly or indirectly) in one year, affected 28 sacks for 2 teams.

A blind man could tell we are better with him, and Tenn. is worse without him. PERIOD.

Posted by: capitolteacher
------------------------------

Enough said!!

Posted by: daghost | March 23, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Fat Albert let the cat out of the bag. JC is not a leader. Did he ever complain about those "questionable" plays sent in by the coaches? No, he didn't want to get yelled at and have his delicate feelings hurt. Did it ever dawn on him that if maybe, just maybe he change a play and something good happened he wouldn't get chewed out. End the JC experiment.

Posted by: theBozyn1 | March 23, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

If he complains, he is a whiner, if says nothing and keeps things professional - he's a punk! Make up your mind - what do you want him to be?

Posted by: SPUD2 | March 23, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I want him to be gone!

Posted by: theBozyn1 | March 23, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I want him to be gone!

Posted by: theBozyn1

I want you, Vic1, sovine8, edeshields and few more JC haters gone!

Posted by: SPUD2 | March 23, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

As another fan wrote on redksins.com

2009 Skins sacks- 40
2008 Skins sacks- 24

2009 Tenn sacks- 32
2008 Tenn sacks- 44

Haynesworth (directly or indirectly) in one year, affected 28 sacks for 2 teams.

A blind man could tell we are better with him, and Tenn. is worse without him. PERIOD.

Posted by: capitolteacher
________________________________

No doubt Haynesworth had a hand in that. But I wouldn't discount the impact Orakpo had on those figures.

Posted by: dfbovey | March 23, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Not going to happen Spud2. I don't hate JC as a person , I just hate him as a QB.

Posted by: theBozyn1 | March 23, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Listen to this

https://owa.sperry-marine.com/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://cbswjfk.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/032210_lavaranddukes_seg13.mp3

Posted by: badbob1 | March 23, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

My mother always told me growing-up that possession receivers are the most important part of the post Bill Walsh west coast offense and an accurate quarterback with a quick release wasn't far behind. I realize not that she knew much more about football than all of the other nuns, but I still don't know the reason shaved her legs.

Posted by: monkeymayonaise | March 24, 2010 6:43 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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