Shanahan reaffirms: Redskins won't pursue Terrell Owens
In April, when Terrell Owens first began talking about a reunion with Donovan McNabb, Mike Shanahan quickly doused the fires, saying "we will not go in that direction right now." Sounds like "right now" might have meant "ever."
Shanahan appeared on New York's WFAN Thursday afternoon to promote the American Century celebrity golf tournament, and he was asked yet again about Owens -- who has mentioned the Redskins as a team he'd like to join twice in recent weeks.
"I made a commitment relative to T.O., that we were not gonna go in that direction," Shanahan said. "There's a lot of factors involved, but bottom line is...."
Well, I'm not quite sure what the bottom line is, because Shanahan's cell phone cut out. But the tone of his voice made it pretty clear: no T.O. in D.C. (Listen to the interview here.)
Shanahan also talked about his relationship with Daniel Snyder, after the hosts asked him whether he had any doubts about joining forces with the sometimes controversial owner.
"I know what type of commitment that he has made to the Washington Redskins," Shanahan said. "He wants to win more than anybody. And he let me know that I'd have final decisions on all the personnel, and things along those lines, and told me how he expected my relationship and his relationship to work. And I've been working there for the last six months, and I couldn't ask for anything more than what he's given me."
Shanahan said Donovan McNabb has been a class act to work with. He said he's not sure where Brian Westbrook is in considering his various offers. He said praised his new division, saying "you want to play in the top division, and I think the NFC East over the years has been the top division. Right now [it has] a lot of good football teams, and hopefully we can play well and get back on top."
And he talked at length about Albert Haynesworth, which I'm burying since you're all sick of me writing about him.
"I talked to Albert about a month after I got the job and sat down with him and I said if he did not want to be part of the Washington Redskins, that I'd let him go," Shanahan said. "I wouldn't trade him, I'd let him go to another football team. But if he did take the check for $21 million, I expected him to play any position that we thought would be in the best interest of the Washington Redskins, be it nose tackle, defensive end or if we wanted to play him at free safety, but we expected him to come in in great shape and do the things that he's capable of doing.
"And hopefully he does that. He hasn't shown up for mini-camp, so guys are gonna be looking at him, to see what type of shape he's in, if he's willing to do the little things the right way. And time will tell. If he is buying in, and he is in great shape, we know what type of talent he is, and we know he can help our football team win."
The hosts noted Rich Campbell's recent story about Haynesworth losing more than 30 pounds, and asked if there was an issue with other players in the locker room losing patience with him.
"You know, I don't even worry about that," Shanahan said. "I want guys that are gonna come in and work extremely hard, and hopefully Albert does that. Does he need to do that with the rest of his teammates? I think he does. I think he's got to come in in great shape. People have to know that he's gonna do what's in the best interests of our organization to help us win. We're gonna play him at a position that we think will help us win, and hopefully he can play at that high level, because he's very talented. And hopefully he makes that commitment when he comes in."
And the hosts asked if this was all really about the matter of Haynesworth's position.
"I really don't know, to be honest with you," Shanahan said. "Obviously it sounds like that. I have not talked to him since that one conversation I did have, but I made it crystal clear to him that if he did take that $21 million, we expect him to play at the position that we feel gives us the best chance to win."
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