Randle El: "They knew what they were getting with Albert"
Just when I think every person in the world has been quoted on Albert Haynesworth, the world hiccups up another person whose opinion on He Who Shall Not Be Blogged About More Than Twice a Day has not yet been recorded by posterity. In Wednesday's edition, that person is Antwaan Randle El, who it turns out was actually consulted by Redskins management before Haynesworth was signed.
Which is why he told The Mike Wise Show he was "not at all" surprised by this offseason's pleasant diversion.
"This is something they knew before even signing him," Randle El said. "They knew what they were getting. They talked to Tennessee, they talked to me - because I knew guys that were on the Tennessee team, that would actually give you the lowdown on Albert. So it was just a matter of they just took a shot. They knew what they were getting with Albert. I thought for sure he would show up for the mandatory stuff, but that's just the bottom line....I don't know really what to say more about it. They knew what they were getting in Albert Haynesworth."
Big fan, apparently.
So what does Haynesworth's presence mean for this year's Redskins? Randle El said all could be solved if he comes back and apologies. And if not, the former Skins wide receiver suggested that this will be a lingering, festering, oozing issue.
"How do you celebrate with that guy on the field when it comes to making those plays?" he asked. "It's tough. Every player sees it. And when you get players talking about it and really upset about it, these are guys that come to work and expect the best out of one another. And when you're not getting it out of one guy, they figure hey, let's move on. That's certainly something that management has to deal with, because that defense will tell you, 'Hey, we'll do better without him. We've done better without him last year. That's the way they look at it."
Randle El has talked before about the difference between working for the Steelers and the Redskins, and he talked about it again in this interview, suggesting that the primary differences lie in ownership.
"Dan [Snyder] was involved a little bit more than you would like as a head coach, and certainly as players you could see it, and I think that's just the difference," Randle El said. "You come over to the Steelers, the ownership, they kind of stay back, they let the coaches do their thing. But at the same [time], they know and they're gonna make sure they've got the right guys in the right place, with the right attitude, being the good person you're supposed to be on the field and off the field.
"They make sure they try to keep a good process, making sure they're bringing in the right guys, and when you're not the right guy, you're doing the wrong things, they make sure they clean it up any way that they can. The bottom line is they know how to win....and they always bring in the right coaches that they know they can hang on to and let them coach up and do their job. They don't get involved with the playcalling and all that type of stuff, they stay away from that. I think that's one of the biggest differences."
Wait wait wait wait wait. Playcalling? Did ownership order up that swinging gate picket fence window-washing fake field goal? Thankfully, Wise later returned to this, and asked if Randle El meant to imply that Daniel Snyder gets involved with playcalling.
"They weren't involved in calling plays, but I was giving you an example of how close ownership was to the whole coaching idea," Randle El said. "It was almost like they were involved too much. (Note: Almost? - ed.)
"It was just hard," he continued. "It was tough. And that's what made it tough as players. We had so much selfishness last year. It wasn't just because of the players, it was because the coaches, Zorn and Sherm, they really couldn't do what they wanted to do because management was involved.
"There was just a lot going on, but I think they're heading in the right direction certainly with having Mike there and having Bruce Allen there, and certainly we hope if Dan can stay out of this thing - and I think he will, because he has those two guys in place that he can trust, just like when he had Coach Gibbs in - they can really flourish and take off. Really the sky's the limit for the Redskins right now."
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