Adam Archuleta calls his time in D.C. "an utter disaster"
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."
| February 3, 2011; 1:31 PM ET
Save & Share: Previous: Leonsis answers questions about t-shirt cannons
Next: Gilbert Arenas was like Denzel Washington, and his sharks are dead, and he expects to be booed
Posted by: jbanks979 | February 3, 2011 1:39 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | February 3, 2011 2:07 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: iubiquity | February 3, 2011 2:14 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Baystater1 | February 3, 2011 2:15 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Parlett316 | February 3, 2011 2:19 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: destewar | February 3, 2011 2:24 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: MrChip1 | February 3, 2011 2:27 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: funkey | February 3, 2011 2:36 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: hock1 | February 3, 2011 2:52 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: keithrjackson | February 3, 2011 2:55 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: ged0386 | February 3, 2011 3:06 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: 1bmffwb | February 3, 2011 3:16 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Barno1 | February 3, 2011 3:54 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: fortcodoley | February 3, 2011 4:55 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: jpfterps | February 3, 2011 5:22 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: dcsween | February 3, 2011 5:29 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: skinsdiehard | February 3, 2011 6:11 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: PublicEnemy1 | February 4, 2011 10:11 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: rachel216 | February 6, 2011 11:27 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: garrafa10 | February 8, 2011 2:29 AM | Report abuse