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Albert Haynesworth and Mike Shanahan: An unlikely win-win situation?

Albert Haynesworth won and so did the Redskins.

The team's decision to remove Haynesworth from the base 3-4 defense, in which he was uncomfortable, and permit him to primarily rush the passer in the nickel alignment has pleased the two-time all-pro player. The Redskins benefited in the process, getting a dominant performance from Haynesworth -- the best of his brief and tumultuous tenure with the franchise -- in the Week 7 victory against the Chicago Bears.

Coordinator Jim Haslett deserves much of the credit for deftly managing what appeared to be an unmanageable situation, many people familiar with Haslett's role in the matter said. When Haynesworth wanted to be traded in the offseason and Coach Mike Shanahan seemed unwilling to compromise, Haslett privately encouraged Haynesworth to give the new defense, and Haslett, a chance. Haslett, according to team employees, also told Shanahan he thought he could make it work with a player who said he no longer wanted to work for the Redskins.

Loyal to Shanahan, Haslett firmly explained to Haynesworth that it was highly doubtful another defensive coordinator would grant him the freedom he enjoyed under Jim Schwartz when Haynesworth and Schwartz were with the Tennessee Titans. But Haslett also told Haynesworth that, if he came to Redskins Park with an open mind, he believed he could create favorable matchups that enabled the nine-year veteran to do the things he prefers.

Of course, reaching this point did not occur in a straight line.

There was the daily saga of Haynesworth's conditioning tests during training camp, the ongoing Shanahan-Haynesworth tiff about Haynesworth's medical condition and the coaching staff's frustration because Haynesworth did not attend a halftime adjustments meeting during the final preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals.

Recently, Haynesworth would have preferred to play in the Week 6 loss to Indianapolis Colts after rejoining the team following the death of his younger brother in a motorcycle accident, but Shanahan decided to hold him out of the game. After Haynesworth's eye-opening performance against the Bears, however, it seems Haynesworth and the team finally could build on something positive together.

Shanahan and Haynesworth also deserve credit.

Although Shanahan gave Haslett control over the defense, Shanahan could have ordered Haslett to continue to use Haynesworth in the base defense even though he clearly was not productive. Shanahan is renowned in the NFL for being a my-way-or-else guy, and with Haslett's encouragement, Shanahan did bend a little with Haynesworth.

Haynesworth could have simply gone through the motions and collected his paycheck for the season. But since early in training camp, Haynesworth told teammates he would work hard and contribute if given a chance to play.

Of all the happy people at the complex, owner Daniel Snyder has the most to gain after Haynesworth's big game against the Bears. Snyder aggressively pursued Haynesworth and gave him a then-record $41 million in guaranteed money in February 2009.

By the end of the 2010 season, Haynesworth will have received $35.6 million from the Redskins. If Haynesworth continues to play at a high level, his contract won't be considered one of the worst in NFL history.

Obviously, this is not an ideal situation. In a rare meeting with reporters Thursday at the complex, Haynesworth was asked about facing Schwartz, his former defensive coordinator with the Lions, and his strong feelings the Lions' head coach were clear.

"He was a good dude, a really good dude. He was really smart," Haynesworth said. "I always said that if he got a chance to be a head coach, he's going to be a great head coach. What he does, he doesn't force his style of play or his defense on the players. He adapts to the strengths of his team. Before he used to do a lot of blitzing in my younger career. Once we developed as defensive linemen and got really good, he stopped the blitzing, put it in our hands."

Though that might appear to be a not-so-veiled shot at Shanahan, Haynesworth again downplayed any lingering friction with the head coach. "Everything's been fine. I just kind of laugh. I talk to him about it. It's just, laugh about all the [speculation] ...because I never really say anything, he never really says anything. It's just funny the stuff that you all come up with. We talk every other day or so."

A perfect union? No. But it's better than many ever envisioned.

By Jason Reid  | October 28, 2010; 2:32 PM ET
Categories:  Albert Haynesworth  
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Next: Jammal Brown practicing through the pain

Comments

PETER KING SUCKS

Posted by: Bigfoot_has_a_posse | October 28, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

I love listening to Haney's voice in the sound-bytes. He sounds like some teenage stoner who is constantly being grounded and feels like he doesn't have a clue what he's done to be in the position he's in.

Is it me or does Haney start 99% of his comments with, "Ahdunno..[I don't know]"?

Posted by: Personal_Fowl | October 28, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Did any of the "journalists" or insiders ask Albert about being carted off the field in Detroit last year? Who cares about what Big Al says today...if he contintues to improve on Sundays, let his actions on the field speak...Can we really trust him yet? And i mean trust him with his play on the field and in practice. who cares about his relationship with the coaches. Maybe had alber participated in the some of the ota's, he would understand this "complicated" defense...It's hard to defend Albert. I think shanahan has handled this sitation as well as possible. there was no singular right way to handle this unique problem.

Posted by: boricuabopper | October 28, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

"It's just funny the stuff that you all come up with."

I don't think many of us on here agree with you on that one Albert.

Posted by: PlayAction | October 28, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Why in the world are most of the "experts" picking the Lions to win this game?

I don't get it. We are 4-3, they are 1-5....... But whatever, I think the offense explodes this week; and by Orakpo's comments I think I was right about this being a revenge game.

Also if you have Santana on youf Fantasy team, start him.

Posted by: iH8dallas | October 28, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Why in the world are most of the "experts" picking the Lions to win this game?

I don't get it. We are 4-3, they are 1-5....... But whatever, I think the offense explodes this week; and by Orakpo's comments I think I was right about this being a revenge game.

Also if you have Santana on youf Fantasy team, start him.

Posted by: iH8dallas | October 28, 2010 2:45 PM |

Who will cover Megatron? Will it be Double Move or Arseneo Hall? I predict that Landry's left bicep will punch Jahvid Best right on his turf toe.

I like 'Tana to take a bubble screen to the hizzy.

Posted by: Personal_Fowl | October 28, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Well..he is right..you all media ppl suck..u turning sports into hollywood

Posted by: thewayitis | October 28, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

An assbag sociopath can change their screen name and they're still an assbag sociopath. Only thing that changes is their assbaggery gets bumped a few notches, they come off as more bummish and weak...

"Food for thought", just sayin'", "FYI", and "MESSAGE!" -- what have you... Not directing nothing at anyone in question...

Posted by: RedDMV | October 28, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

was that at me red....haha...j/k ....work still busy...

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | October 28, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Why in the world are most of the "experts" picking the Lions to win this game?

Posted by: iH8dallas | October 28, 2010 2:45 PM

Been that way all season...and I like it!

Posted by: PlayAction | October 28, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Why does Haynesworth ALWAYS need to get his dig in?? The whole part about Schwartz being so great (and in essence, the opposite of Shanahan) was unnecessary. I wish he would just SHUT UP. As soon as I get happy that he does something good, and acknowledges why it was successful (Haslett being more accommodating to Haynesworth's style) he has to throw in some stupid comments about how great Schwartz was. Us fans can't even appreciate the new effort he displayed in Chicago game, without only days going by before he says something stupid. Heads up Haynesworth: you wouldn't want to be a part of Schwartz's 1-5 team right now, nor would Schwartz's team pay you the ridiculous money WE are... so please zip it!!!!

Posted by: foreverskins72 | October 28, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, work still busy, beans....

A little more responsibility now. They've promoted me from stamp licker to mail sorter -- soon I'll get to push the mail cart... What can I say, I'm coming up in the world... Not "driving-in-my-fancy-German-luxury-sedan-on-my-way-to-my-17-bedroom-mansion-in-NW-Washington D.C." come up, but coming up nonetheless.

F carbs
F The Lions!

Posted by: RedDMV | October 28, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Who will cover Megatron? Will it be Double Move or Arseneo Hall? I predict that Landry's left bicep will punch Jahvid Best right on his turf toe.

I like 'Tana to take a bubble screen to the hizzy.

Posted by: Personal_Fowl | October 28, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Won't really matter who covers him when Hayney and Orakpo are killing him.

Posted by: iH8dallas | October 28, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I love listening to Haney's voice in the sound-bytes. He sounds like some teenage stoner who is constantly being grounded and feels like he doesn't have a clue what he's done to be in the position he's in.

Is it me or does Haney start 99% of his comments with, "Ahdunno..[I don't know]"?

Posted by: Personal_Fowl | October 28, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse


Reality is AH is doing better than all of us. So if the worse thing he does is start his sentences off with ahdunno I would trade places with him. How about you? We pick on these guys constantly yet we all wish we were in their positions even if we dont want to admit it. Choose your favorite sport or hobby. Now ask yourself, would you rather be making the money you make now doing what you do or would you rather be making millions playing your favorite sport or hobby? We all have a little envy of these guys because of just that. Thats why we pick on them soo much.

Posted by: ged0386 | October 28, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

By him I mean Stafford.

Posted by: iH8dallas | October 28, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Why in the world are most of the "experts" picking the Lions to win this game?

I don't get it. We are 4-3, they are 1-5....... But whatever, I think the offense explodes this week; and by Orakpo's comments I think I was right about this being a revenge game.

Also if you have Santana on youf Fantasy team, start him.

Posted by: iH8dallas | October 28, 2010 2:45 PM |

Could be that we were beat by the Rams 30-16 and they beat the Rams 44-6. Nah...I'm sure that has nothing to do with it....

Posted by: dchandl3 | October 28, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

So fowl and punt are the same person right? I don't have time to read everyday but the writing is essentially the same. What a clown.

Posted by: ToddStinkston | October 28, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse


So fowl and punt are the same person right? I don't have time to read everyday but the writing is essentially the same. What a clown.

Posted by: ToddStinkston | October 28, 2010 3:18 PM |

soooooo obvious

Posted by: Flip_Flop | October 28, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Did a little poking into our points against numbers and found an interesting stat. I think we lead the league in ... missed FGs against us.

teams have missed 7(!) FGs vs the Skins. One per game

vs Skins teams have made 12 of 19 FG attempts
vs AZ, 16 of 22
vs TN, 18 of 22

All the rest of the teams I looked at had 3 or less misses, including a few teams with zero misses. *

4 of the 7 misses against us were in games we lost anyway, we just lost by less. 2 games, missed FGs against us had a big impact. In the opener, dallas missed a FG and lost by 6. Of course, had they made the FG, they'd have been down 3 at then end of the game and the last play would have been a FG attempt to tie. Vs GB, we would have lost if their K had made his missed FG attempts.

On the flip side, if Gano is perfect, we beat Hou and take Indy into OT.

What is interesting, with no obvious explanation, is that our K is among the worst FG% ... AND opposing K have the worst FG% against when kicking against us.

*There were a few teams I don't have info for, the teams with a BYE this week

Posted by: zcezcest1 | October 28, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

On Albert, its a little early to sing kumbaya. We're 7 games into a season and he's played 2 at the level he's capable of playing.

IF he plays the next 9 at a high level, this team is a solid playoff contender. That 'IF' should be in about a size 50 font

Posted by: zcezcest1 | October 28, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

What is interesting, with no obvious explanation, is that our K is among the worst FG% ... AND opposing K have the worst FG% against when kicking against us.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | October 28, 2010 3:22 PM

I think we were talking the other day about the relatively windy (and swirling) conditions so far this season at FedEx...and at the game in Chicago...possibly contributing.

Posted by: PlayAction | October 28, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Reality is AH is doing better than all of us. So if the worse thing he does is start his sentences off with ahdunno I would trade places with him. How about you? We pick on these guys constantly yet we all wish we were in their positions even if we dont want to admit it. Choose your favorite sport or hobby. Now ask yourself, would you rather be making the money you make now doing what you do or would you rather be making millions playing your favorite sport or hobby? We all have a little envy of these guys because of just that. Thats why we pick on them soo much.

Posted by: ged0386 | October 28, 2010 3:13 PM |

What a profound statement: "AH is doing better than all of us."

Dude, Graham Gano is doing better than all of us unless you're pulling down more than 300k. How is that supposed to insulate the Fat Bastard from us making our assessments as fans?

You'd trade places with him? That's pretty bush, especially since that's never going to happen so why even say it.

I cannot speak for you man but I don't waste a half a brain cell wishing I were someone else. Do you?

I guess what you're saying is that all we should ever do is type I AGREE.

Seriously dude?

Posted by: Personal_Fowl | October 28, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Un-SJK-ing believable. Still managed 2 Hayney posts in one day. Way to be creative and come up with something new.

Posted by: scampbell1975 | October 28, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Hey No_Penis_Included, go blow a donkey.

Posted by: scampbell1975 | October 28, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

What is interesting, with no obvious explanation, is that our K is among the worst FG% ... AND opposing K have the worst FG% against when kicking against us.

*There were a few teams I don't have info for, the teams with a BYE this week

Posted by: zcezcest1 | October 28, 2010 3:22 PM
------------------------------------------
There is this thing kickers have to contend with called "wind". Maybe the Redskins have simply played in more windy conditions than the other teams...

Posted by: RedSkinHead | October 28, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

There is this thing kickers have to contend with called "wind". Maybe the Redskins have simply played in more windy conditions than the other teams...

Posted by: RedSkinHead | October 28, 2010 3:38 PM |

Wind in Chicago? Surely you jest!

Posted by: Personal_Fowl | October 28, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Un-SJK-ing believable. Still managed 2 Hayney posts in one day. Way to be creative and come up with something new.

Posted by: scampbell1975 | October 28, 2010 3:30 PM
------------------------------------------
I thought Reid was over his Haynie-crush, but he must have had a relapse. Someone must have emailed him.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | October 28, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

There is this thing kickers have to contend with called "wind". Maybe the Redskins have simply played in more windy conditions than the other teams...

Posted by: RedSkinHead | October 28, 2010 3:38 PM |

Wind in Chicago? Surely you jest!

Posted by: Personal_Fowl | October 28, 2010 3:40 PM
-----------------------------------------
Yeah, I know. Blows doesn't it?

Posted by: RedSkinHead | October 28, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Someone must have emailed him.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | October 28, 2010 3:41 PM |

LOL! Hayney's got a buddy on retainer to send J Reid emails just to keep his name in the media.

Posted by: scampbell1975 | October 28, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Someone must have emailed him.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | October 28, 2010 3:41 PM |

LOL! Hayney's got a buddy on retainer to send J Reid emails just to keep his name in the media.

Posted by: scampbell1975 | October 28, 2010 3:43 PM
------------------------------------------
It's spooky isn't it? It's like a kid picking at a zit. Haynesworth is Reid's zit.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | October 28, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Schwartz is a GREAT coach who has won 2 games in 2 season!

Does AH listen to himself?

AH is a game chaning player. Anyway this coaching stuff can milk good output from him it will be great.

But AH really needs to play every down for 100 Mil.

Posted by: SeedofChange | October 28, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

It seems to me that they've also got AH primarily in on short yardage downs.

I don't think they were in the nickel package on the goal-line stuff/fumble or when AH tackled Forte for a loss on 3rd-1.

Posted by: p1funk | October 28, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

It's definitely encouraging, but one dominant performance in a year and a half and we're all good? This is what we expected from him every game. The bar has certainly been lowered for him.

I hope he continues and has more games like the Chicago game and is happy, but let's hold off on the Mission Accomplished banner until we see more of this.

Let's not forget how weak the Bears O-line is. Just trying to put things in perspective.

Posted by: fitzroysq | October 28, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

PETER KING SUCKS

Posted by: Bigfoot_has_a_posse | October 28, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Revisionist history. Shannys a genius for changing the D marginalizing the best player then scrapping the D for the old one reenergizing the best player losing a couple winnable games along the way..... Brilliant

genius super bowl dynasty

Posted by: pabrian2003 | October 28, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

What is interesting, with no obvious explanation, is that our K is among the worst FG% ... AND opposing K have the worst FG% against when kicking against us.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | October 28, 2010 3:22 PM

I think we were talking the other day about the relatively windy (and swirling) conditions so far this season at FedEx...and at the game in Chicago...possibly contributing.

Posted by: PlayAction

Maybe. Most kickers know how to deal with wind, though. Gould plays in Chi and he's 6 of 8 there. Suisham had a 3 for 3 game vs the jints with 50mph winds -- one was from about 48 and he started it off outside the goal posts!!

Total guess, but I think it has more to do with the turf. Much easier to kick from cement than mud. Maybe the footing is less certain at FedEx. Maybe the ball sinks into the turf a bunch in some spots, not so much in others -- so the same kick will do different things from different spots. I don't know ... but I doubt FedEx is that much windier than a bunch of other places (NE, Chi, GB, SF, etc)

Posted by: zcezcest1 | October 28, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Shanny ain't stupid. There is a reason they haven't offered McNabb a contract, and there was a reason Phili traded his overrated a*s within the division (I don't know if I would rather have Kolb or McNabb. definately not Vick). We win in spite of McNabb not cause of him. We lost in his best game as a Redskin (vs. Houston)?? Coincidence?? Not. Because we win in spite of him!!

Alex Barron gave us da Cowboy game. We beat da Eagles cause Vick got hurt. We beat Green Bay cause Matthews got hurt. The Rams kicked our ass cause McNabb left our defense on the field too long. We shoulda beat the Colts but lost because of who? (you guessed it) Cutler gave us the game.

Face it Campbell would not have done any worse then McFlabb!! If not for Landry and co. were the Cowboys!!

Now lets get it together McNabb (and offense). Beat the Pistons (I mean lions). Take our lucky 5-3 record into the bye week. And come back as a complete team ready to contend in the putrid NFC playoff race!!

Posted by: digger76 | October 28, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Why in the world are most of the "experts" picking the Lions to win this game?

I don't get it. We are 4-3, they are 1-5....... But whatever, I think the offense explodes this week; and by Orakpo's comments I think I was right about this being a revenge game.

Also if you have Santana on youf Fantasy team, start him.

Posted by: iH8dallas | October 28, 2010 2:45 PM |

Could be that we were beat by the Rams 30-16 and they beat the Rams 44-6. Nah...I'm sure that has nothing to do with it....

Posted by: dchandl3
----------------------------
Luckily this isn't college football. We don't have to use that faulty logic. Some teams match up better against some schemes than others. There are too many factors to take such a simplistic approach. Lucky for us the NFL settles this kind of thing on the field.

Posted by: 6thsense79 | October 28, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Why in the world are most of the "experts" picking the Lions to win this game?

I don't get it. We are 4-3, they are 1-5....... But whatever, I think the offense explodes this week; and by Orakpo's comments I think I was right about this being a revenge game.

Also if you have Santana on youf Fantasy team, start him.

Posted by: iH8dallas | October 28, 2010 2:45 PM |

Could be that we were beat by the Rams 30-16 and they beat the Rams 44-6. Nah...I'm sure that has nothing to do with it....

Posted by: dchandl3
----------------------------
Luckily this isn't college football. We don't have to use that faulty logic. Some teams match up better against some schemes than others. There are too many factors to take such a simplistic approach. Lucky for us the NFL settles this kind of thing on the field.

Posted by: 6thsense79 | October 28, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Why in the world are most of the "experts" picking the Lions to win this game?

I don't get it. We are 4-3, they are 1-5....... But whatever, I think the offense explodes this week; and by Orakpo's comments I think I was right about this being a revenge game.

Also if you have Santana on youf Fantasy team, start him.

Posted by: iH8dallas | October 28, 2010 2:45 PM |

Could be that we were beat by the Rams 30-16 and they beat the Rams 44-6. Nah...I'm sure that has nothing to do with it....

Posted by: dchandl3
----------------------------
Luckily this isn't college football. We don't have to use that faulty logic. Some teams match up better against some schemes than others. There are too many factors to take such a simplistic approach. Lucky for us the NFL settles this kind of thing on the field.

Posted by: 6thsense79 | October 28, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Why in the world are most of the "experts" picking the Lions to win this game?

I don't get it. We are 4-3, they are 1-5....... But whatever, I think the offense explodes this week; and by Orakpo's comments I think I was right about this being a revenge game.

Also if you have Santana on youf Fantasy team, start him.

Posted by: iH8dallas | October 28, 2010 2:45 PM |

Could be that we were beat by the Rams 30-16 and they beat the Rams 44-6. Nah...I'm sure that has nothing to do with it....

Posted by: dchandl3
----------------------------
Luckily this isn't college football. We don't have to use that faulty logic. Some teams match up better against some schemes than others. There are too many factors to take such a simplistic approach. Lucky for us the NFL settles this kind of thing on the field.

Posted by: 6thsense79 | October 28, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Wow! The double-deuce post! Impressive.

Posted by: Alan4 | October 28, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Haslett put Fat Albert into a position better suited to his skill set...........

LMFAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

No....Haynesworth just dogged it on the field every time he was put in on the 3-4 like the big fat cry baby child he is and was more of a liability forcing the staff to use him only in sets he prefers. It's not the coaches fault they got stuck with the fat entitled POS. If they could have traded him he'd be gone. Haynesworth could dominate in the 3-4 base if he wanted to. He just won't!!

Posted by: skins91r | October 28, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Wow! The double-deuce post! Impressive.

Posted by: Alan4 | October 28, 2010 4:43 PM |

You would think a simple script at the WP server could just junk these. How hard could it be? almost every thread has a bunch of double posts; this is the WP fault not the users...

Posted by: jiji1 | October 28, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

If this, what if that? If your aunt had balls she would be your uncle. Like a well known coach said, they are who we thought they were. This team is going to be unsettled for a while. We all should expect this as we are in transition. I will try to keep a wait and see attitude. IMO the coaches are doing a good job with the talent that they have. They know what they want,lets give them a chance to build before we tear them down.

Posted by: vexed50verizonnet | October 28, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

This adjustment for Fat Albert is bogus. Anyone who plays the Redskins will know that when Haynesworth is in, that the Redskins are going to play pass first and that an audible to a running play is in order.

I looked for the impact of Haynesworth and noted as many blown assignments in the game against Chicago as there were successes.

I won't cut the Fat Arse any slack because he is the highest paid member of the team and as such should be expected to do more, not less, to make his team better. Cutting him slack is a chemistry killer for this team. We have a short term answer to a problem that is as big as Haynesworth's paycheck.

Nothing here solves the problem of Fat Arse's greed, laziness, immaturity, selfishness, and lack of team commitment.

All I can say is that if this makes the turd usable this year so we can get rid of him then I'm for it. I just hope he doesn't get injured trying to fall over his paycheck.

Posted by: laserwizard | October 28, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

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