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Albert Haynesworth may have lost chance to start

Defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth was expected to move into the starting lineup this week as the Redskins prepare to kick off the season against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night, but it appears those plans have been scrapped because of the coaching staff's dissatisfaction with his play.

Two team sources said Haynesworth probably would have had a key role, even if he did not start, against the Cowboys this week if he had fared well in the preseason finale against the Arizona Cardinals. Haynesworth's play was described as "awful" by the sources, who said it wasn't as much a matter of blown assignments (Haynesworth did not have many) as his lack of effort and failure to adhere to the principles of Washington's new 3-4 scheme.

Practice was closed to the media Saturday, but a team source said Haynesworth participated in few plays. After lining up primarily at right end recently, Haynesworth was moved back to nose tackle. And in an even more telling sign about Haynesworth's standing on the team, the two-time all-pro was taken out of the nickel package. He had started in that defensive alignment for the final two weeks of the preseason.

Kedric Golston started at right end throughout the preseason and got the first-team reps in practice Saturday. Phillip Daniels also worked at right end.

Golston and Daniels are professional, steady, hard-working players, but they are not difference-makers on Haynesworth's level. The Cowboys' offensive line is a mess beginning the season, so perhaps Shanahan believes he does not need Haynesworth to win the big-stage home field opener.

But if Haynesworth is inactive for the game, active but held out because of a coaching decision or plays only a little, and the Redskins struggle defensively and lose, that could reflect poorly on Shanahan. Haynesworth is a big-play player, and the Redskins could use as many players like that as possible on defense against the Cowboys' offense, which features many playmakers.

It is unclear what Shanahan will do about Haynesworth's playing status for the opener, one of the sources said. This much, however, is clear: the Shanahan-Haynesworth situation is still far from resolved on the eve of the season.

By Jason Reid  |  September 6, 2010; 11:42 AM ET
Categories:  Albert Haynesworth  
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Next: Ravens sign T.J. Houshmanzadeh


why in the world would the skins not make a push for TJ Housmanzadeh???? We have the weakest receiving core in the league, and we pass up on a cheap, veteran, possession receiver.Yeah..Joey Galloway is really going to cause fear in opposing DB's. This is just another example as to why the Ravens will always be head and shoulders above my beloved 'Skins.

Posted by: beigebandit | September 6, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

beigebandit they made a push..they lost out to the ravens.

Posted by: TWISI | September 6, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Shanny will not cut off his nose to spite his face. I think 92 will play a lot against Dallas and if he shows up, I expect him to be starting by Week 2. I did predict he'd start this week, looks like I was wrong but we will see for sure in 6 days.


Posted by: Notorious_LMG | September 6, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

This AH thing is going way out of control. It was old 1 or 2 months ago, now I just wish it would disappear.

Posted by: iH8dallas | September 6, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

When he gives Romo a Grade II concusion, it will all go away. HAIL

Posted by: Notorious_LMG | September 6, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Isn't this a repeat of what we heard a couple of days ago? Seriously, RI is a mirror of the total collapse of the Washington Post...a day late and a dollar short with woeful coverage.

IMO, if the choice comes down to a repeat "no new news" posting and nothing, go with nothing.

Posted by: Ebola_22039 | September 6, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Shanahan is playing with fire, bench Haynesworth and loose the opener against Dallas and all your football acumen will be in doubt.

Posted by: abxinc | September 6, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Fellow Skins fans, it doesn't matter if Albert dresses or not. Albert is just an average defensive lineman now. Anyone who says he is a "difference maker" still thinks he will play like his contract year. The guy is no longer a great player. He is average. It would be nice to have the "contract-year" Albert, but Albert doesn't have a love for the game or the motivation any longer. Hall-of-famers want to be great, Albert just played for his payday.

Albert didn't work out this off season, conditioning or hitting the weights. And for those of you who say, "he lost 30 pounds and reported in shape..." The guy lost 30 pounds of muscle/strength because he didn't work out/lift/take enhancers... So, all of you that want or think Albert is anywhere close to his "contract-year" playing days...he isn't. Get over it and as soon as you realize that fact and understand it, then it doesn't matter if he is active or inactive for games this year, because all that will be performing out there is just an AVERAGE player.

If we win or lose to Dallas it won't be because an average defensive lineman played or didn't play...

Posted by: redskinbo | September 6, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who has managed anything knows that the issue before Shannahan -- bringing essntial character and leadership to a group that had none. AH is the challenge to Shanny's leadership. If he doesn't shut AH down, his book and his talk doesn't mean squat to the team.

What would you do? It's pretty clear. I don't care if the Cowboys win. The AH bully must not do damage to the Skins. I think Shanny's got the stones to make sure that won't happen.

Posted by: pharrrrtt | September 6, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

According to my sources J Reid love AH. I think its a good resume bullet for you now, ride the wave Jason, ride the wave. Controversy and unnamed sources bring in the $$$.

Posted by: MajorFacemask | September 6, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse


I think your disdain for this fiasco is taking over what's good for the team. You recall AH playing in 65% of the snaps last year and still had a huge effect in the run AND passing game (#7 in run defense; an average DE like A. Carter w/ double digit sacks).

He's a beast and admit it. To say he's average is just asinine. Dude is a force and the entire league knows it. He's not Reggie White but he's better then ANY d-lineman we have on this roster and most rosters in the NFL.

Shanahan's decision on this is a difficult one given the money that has been paid. I don't envy him on this one.

Posted by: overzealous08 | September 6, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Have to agree with pharrtt - 100%.
If you're trying to build a team, any kind of organization, you have to have people who want to succeed. Clearly, AH doesn't care. Shanny's not playing for one game -- even if it is the Cowboys. He has to build for the season and seasons to come. Seems AH is just a big, overpaid hinderance to getting anything positive done. Put him on the bench, trade him, cut him.
He complained when he didn't play and then complained he had been played too much. Problem is, he didn't do anything when he played -- 1st quarter or second half, whenever.

Posted by: Charlie7 | September 6, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm so tired of hearing about Haynesworth being such a difference maker. He is an out of shape tub of goo, a whiner, and a head case. You can't rely on him and I just don't see the dominance that I keep reading about. If he really was all that, the coaching staff would be designing the defense for him. But they are not and that is because he not only has not learned the defense, but has diminished skills as well.

Posted by: mrshneebly | September 6, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

This will be needlessly dramatic.

Posted by: MadeRED | September 6, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse


At first I was thinking you are right, that teams will have to still double team Albert and game plan around him. But, what I've seen and heard, teams will see that he has become average now. I serioulsy don't think he touched a weight in the off season, and has no desire to play the game any longer...he's along for the ride now to finish out his contract. There is not another payday in his future. I really don't think we will really see a difference with Albert (the Albert now 2 years past his contract year) or a Kedric Golston in there. And with Golston, you know he will play within the scheme and be there for a teammate to count on...

Posted by: redskinbo | September 6, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

The fact that he hasnt taken the starting job by storm shows how pathetic of a work ethic he has and what a baby he continues to be

Posted by: Bious | September 7, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

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