Haynesworth says there are "zero distractions"
Far as I can remember, the last time Albert Haynesworth made a lengthy radio appearance was in March, when he went on SIRIUS NFL Radio and said, among other things, "I don't think I'm built to be a nose tackle, to be honest." As brief as Haynesworth's locker room sessions with the media often are, he's usually eminently quotable when left to talk, but it just hasn't happened much.
Well, that changed on Saturday afternoon, when 106.7 The Fan's Kevin & Rock scored a 15-minute interview with Haynesworth not long after the Redskins' team plane landed in St. Louis. Rick Maese will have a news story on this, but among the highlights were the inevitable question about whether he's been a distraction in this locker room.
(And much credit to Kevin Shafer and Rocky Parrish and their producer, Harrison Weinhold, for landing the second-biggest get in D.C. sports. First is Gilbert Arenas, obviously.)
Anyhow, about that locker room....
"There is zero, zero distractions or animosity or anything in the locker room," Haynesworth said. "I mean, we're a team, we're family, we're brothers. We're always joking, always acting crazy and all that stuff. I mean, there's nothing from the locker room. Everything is outside. I can say that and put my hand on the Bible and everything. I promise you. There is nothing like that happening in the locker room. I mean, it's a perfect locker room. I mean, right up to the packages and stuff."
(That last line was a joke about Clinton Portis. And not a bad one, either.)
Haynesworth was also asked -- for the first time, I believe -- about the much-discussed shot from the Cowboys game of him by himself, looking unhappy, while many defensive teammates met behind him on the bench.
"Well, they don't have a camera on me all the time, but my face is always like that during the game," he said. "You can go back to when I was back in Tennessee with the Titans, I never sat down, never went to the [in-game] meetings, it was always my coach came up to find me, because I'm at a point in the game, I'm so focused I don't want to be 'coached' right there. Tell me if we've got a change [in strategy], or tell me if I bust something, but don't 'coach' me. You've got all week to coach me, don't wait for Sunday to start coaching me, so I've never sat down and been in meetings or been on that little sideline bench thing or whatever. That's just who I am and things I've done since I can remember."
He said mostly the right things about Mike Shanahan, saying that things have been better between the two of them recently, but he also didn't back down when asked about the perception of him being unwilling to switch positions.
"I guess in this world we don't have a lot of people with backbones," he said. "Just because somebody pay you money don't mean they'll make you do whatever they want. I mean, that means everything is for sale. I mean, I'm not for sale. Yeah, I signed the contract and got paid a lot of money, but just because, that don't mean I'm for sale or a slave or whatever. We agreed upon coming to that [contract] that I'd play defensive tackle and not nose guard and all that other stuff. I was signing with a 4-3 team. It was a lot of promises and stuff like that, but now, it's been better, dealing with Haslett, and we run a lot of 4-3 stuff and you'll see that tomorrow."
Haynesworth on the fame: "I'm just normal. I don't really like the spotlight, to be honest. I like just to play football and be normal, be a guy that can go to Walmart and just hang out or just be a normal guy. That's what I like. I don't like the fame or whatever notoriety that comes with this job, but I do love the game, love to play it."
Haynesworth on buying flatscreens for Redskins employees last year: "The ladies that work for us and stuff, they do a lot for us, I got them TVs....The equipment room guys and the training room guys, guys that definitely help us out. Every year, every team I've been on, they always got money from guys, or a few hundred dollars, and everybody put that in a pot and they would split it and divide it and give it to them. Well, instead of just giving that,I decided just to go and do TVs or something like that, and this year too I'll do something else, something else cool that I'll give em."
Haynesworth on the future: " I mean, I'm just here. I can't predict what can happen in the future, but right now, I'm just trying to get better and help this team win and definitely give my best and get back up to being the most dominant defensive tackle in the game."
| September 25, 2010; 6:57 PM ET
Categories: Media, Redskins
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