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Posted at 1:31 PM ET, 02/ 3/2011

Adam Archuleta calls his time in D.C. "an utter disaster"

By Dan Steinberg

(By Preston Keres - TWP)


When I recently ranked the biggest free-agent busts of the Dan Snyder Era, I put Adam Archuleta at No. 2, behind only Albert Haynesworth. Many disputed that ranking, but I figured when you make a guy the highest paid safety in NFL history and then trade him for a sixth-round pick after he started seven games and was used largely on special teams, that's pretty busty.

Anyhow, Archuleta showed up on radio row during the Super Bowl's media blitz, and sat down with ESPN 980's Sports Reporters, where he was funny, likable and quite honest about his single year in Washington. He said he had wanted to go to Chicago with Lovie Smith, but that "the money wasn't even close" once Washington got involved." He said he thought he would be used closer to the line of scrimmage, as he had been in St. Louis. And he said he was still struggling with the effects of a severe concussion he had suffered with the Rams.

"And it sort of put me in this weird state of mind, and I wasn't the same player in Washington, and I wasn't the same player in Chicago," Archuleta said. "Now, we had some issues with the scheme and some things that were going on team-wise, but when it really came down to it, I wasn't as aggressive as I wanted to be, and I wasn't as physical as I wanted to be, and it just didn't seem like I had that edge.

"That aggressiveness was what I was known for. It allowed me to be successful and it minimized my weaknesses. Once that edge is gone, now your weaknesses become more and more exposed, you don't play as well as you want to, and all of the sudden the world starts crashing down on top of you....

"At the time, you just start thinking, What is going on? I'm not doing what I'm supposed to do. And granted, I don't think I was used correctly....When you start moving me back, you're gonna minimize my impact. I'm not an Ed Reed-type safety. Like I said, I was able to minimize some of my weaknesses by my aggressiveness, my ability to see things, diagnose. I was learning a new scheme, I was uncomfortable, I wasn't the player that I wanted to be. So it was a perfect storm of being an utter disaster, and that's what it ended up being, for all parties involved."

Archuleta, of course, was widely blamed for being the source behind Tom Friend's scathing ESPN.com story about that season, which he amusingly denied this week.

"I had nothing to do with that, but I could understand why, if anybody was gonna get the blame, it was gonna be Adam Archuleta," he said. "If FedEx Field imploded and collapsed, they would try to figure out does Archuleta have an alibi? Where was he? We need to question him."

He said he's now settled in Scottsdale, raising his family and ready to be productive in society. He called his year in Washington "one of the most embarrassing times in my life." He said he thought he took "an unnecessary beating" from the D.C. media, which was unfairly focused on his salary.

"I took the brunt of a lot of the decisions of the organization and the way Dan Snyder has paid a lot of free agents," Archuleta said. "I really feel like I just became that lightning rod, and I feel like I took a lot of undue abuse that was really unnecessary."

At which point Archuleta was assured that the Albert Haynesworth Experience has wiped his name from the free-agent bust record book.

"You can't put me in that category," Archuleta joked. "C'mon."

By Dan Steinberg  | February 3, 2011; 1:31 PM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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Comments

Re: AA vs. Fatsworth

For the disaster of incompetence that was his 2006 season, at least AA "tried". There weren't multiple animated gifs of AA rolling around on the ground while a game is going on.

Posted by: jbanks979 | February 3, 2011 1:39 PM | Report abuse

I think Redskin fans would call Archuleta a disaster too.

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | February 3, 2011 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I'd put Archuleta right up there with the Hindenburg, the Titanic and Jason Reid.

Posted by: iubiquity | February 3, 2011 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Adam,
When you can`t cover a 90 yr. old lady...yet are getting paid a huge amt. of money..why shouldn`t people focus on your
salary?

Posted by: Baystater1 | February 3, 2011 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Hey, if it was for AA's great coverage of Witten we would have never gotten the Hand of God play.

Posted by: Parlett316 | February 3, 2011 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Archuleta should have told the Redskins he was suffering from repercussions from a concussion with the Rams. Maybe we wouldn't have given him that contract...

Posted by: destewar | February 3, 2011 2:24 PM | Report abuse

At least he has enough dignity to be embarrassed about it. Fat Al? Not so much.

Posted by: MrChip1 | February 3, 2011 2:27 PM | Report abuse

it isn't his fault snyder wanted to pay him that much. you think he should of said, 'thanks, but no thanks, sir'? get real...

Posted by: funkey | February 3, 2011 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Funny how no one blames Gibbs for this one or as much as they blame Shanahan for McNabb.
They were both mistakes. The difference? Shanahan admited to it and cut it on the butt before the season was over. Gibbs, well, you can't pin anything on a slick man.

Posted by: hock1 | February 3, 2011 2:52 PM | Report abuse

His honestly is refreshing.

A shame he did not work out. He seems like the kind of person the team could have used in the locker room. Almost like the Chris Cooley of the defense.

Posted by: keithrjackson | February 3, 2011 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Which one of you would have turned down that salary?

Posted by: ged0386 | February 3, 2011 3:06 PM | Report abuse

The most telling things about this story is the condemnation of the press, which it completely deserves, and the way the Skins selects players and them uses them in a way that does not complement their skills. AA always had a reputation for delivering the big hit, he was in shape, and played rotten. The scheme hurt his chances of being a success and the media has nothing to do but throw barrels of ink on the guy. These writers suck.

Posted by: 1bmffwb | February 3, 2011 3:16 PM | Report abuse

"And he said he was still struggling with the effects of a severe concussion he had suffered with the Rams."

I listened to the interview and this was news to me. Archuletta admitted he was also severely depressed heading into his first and only training camp with the Skins. Serious concussion + severe depression = recipe for disaster

No question we overpaid, but he was going to get a big contract no matter who signed him...he was the best safety on the market that year.

That said, I actually put him above Haynesworth as the biggest bust of the Snyder era.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 3, 2011 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Here is the best part of the Adam Archuleta fiasco, that still hurts today: Snyder wanted AA so bad that he let Ryan Clark go. So how did that turn out? not too good...RC has 2 Super bowl rings and is sooo happy the way things have turned out. I remember Clark as playing lights out football. And he still is. Keep an eye on him in the Super Bowl on Sunday.

Posted by: fortcodoley | February 3, 2011 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Barno, defending Vinny & danny again. You might have stockholm syndrome dude.

So AA was going to get a big contract? Did you miss the part where he said he wanted to go to Chicago but "the money wasnt even close"?

Please dont get technical on me and say just bc the $$ wasnt close from CHI doesnt mean other offers werent close. I simply dont believe it. Danny overpaid for AA, he has a history of overpaying, and he is probably overpaying his law team right now.

The only thing he doesnt overpay for is sound PR advice.

Posted by: jpfterps | February 3, 2011 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Barno, defending Vinny & danny again. ...

Posted by: jpfterps | February 3, 2011 5:22 PM

How is that defending those guys?

Posted by: dcsween | February 3, 2011 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Why is Snyder blamed for Archuleta and the free agent class of 2006? It was clearly Joe Gibbs and Gregg Williams orchestrating these signings of Archuleta, Andre Carter and Randle El. Gibbs had control.

Posted by: skinsdiehard | February 3, 2011 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Geee I wonder why he would think his time here was "an utter disater" when he basically stole millions from the Redskins?

Posted by: PublicEnemy1 | February 4, 2011 10:11 AM | Report abuse

YOU are an utter disaster, archuleta.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 6, 2011 11:27 PM | Report abuse

"...Gibbs, well, you can't pin anything on a slick man.

Posted by: hock1"

How could anyone criticize dear old Joe Gibbs? You didn't buy his phony persona, and the ridiculous excuse about departing due to stress? Clearly, running a NASCAR team is absolutely stress-free, and he certainly would never cynically come to DC to associate his name and NASCAR team once again with the NFL. He never knew the Washington media would be so completely uncritical of him he could mail it in and do as he pleased. No, not dear old Joe Gibbs.

Posted by: garrafa10 | February 8, 2011 2:29 AM | Report abuse

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