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Albert Haynesworth: 'Now it's back to playing football'

Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth issued a short statement following his first practice with the Washington Redskins after passing the conditioning test Saturday morning.

"The test is over," Haynesworth said. "Now it's back to playing football. I want to thank all the fans for still supporting me, still wearing 92 jerseys and still believing in me. Y'all have a good day."

Haynesworth did not take questions from reporters.

Several teammates voiced their relief at Haynesworth finally passing the test and rejoining the team for full practice. Haynesworth's status has dominated the news for the first 10 days of camp, but many players said they had ignored the updates and were simply excited to integrate him back into the full team drills.

"I think he's probably happy to be able to come out here and practice," said Pro Bowl linebacker London Fletcher, the leader of the Redskins defense. "For us it was just business as usual, carrying on about our business. It's great that he passed the test and he'll be able to start practicing with us."

After skipping offseason workouts because he did not want to play nose tackle in the Redskins new 3-4 defensive scheme, Haynesworth has said he actually likes the new defense and Haslett's plans for him in the scheme, according to two sources.

Several players said Haynesworth has shown in meetings that he has been studying the scheme. Haynesworth has been asking questions in meetings and "he's starting to use the same terminology as everybody else," defensive lineman Kedric Golston said.

Though the perception was originally that the defensive lineman would mostly eat space and allow others to make plays, Fletcher said the scheme allows for linemen to have an impact as well. Fletcher also said Haynesworth has seemed ready to learn the defense since arriving at Redskins Park for training camp.

"He seems to have the right attitude," Fletcher said. "I thought once he got here and was seeing how Coach Shanahan was running things and Coach Haslett that we've got some good things going on here. If he was just willing to get here and see it I thought he'd like it. Right now he's coming with the right frame of mind."

Most players said the situation has not been a distraction, instead emphasizing that getting Haynesworth back on the field now will give him a better chance of picking up the scheme quickly and allowing the defense to fully jell for the start of the season.

"Him coming back is like, okay let's go," linebacker Andre Carter said.

"I was looking forward to him coming back and being part of the team," nose tackle Maake Kemoeatu said. "The more talent that we can add on to our defense the better off we're going to be. And to have his talent added on to our defense is even greater."

Said Fletcher: "My main focus is whatever 11 guys are on the field ... just getting us to all to play our best possible football. Obviously we want him to play a big part of our success this year, he has tremendous talent, so the quicker we're able to get him out there the better we'll be."

By Paul Tenorio  |  August 7, 2010; 3:21 PM ET
Categories:  Albert Haynesworth  
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Comments

Him coming back is like, okay let's go," linebacker Andre Carter said

____________________________________________


Amen to that.

Posted by: TWISI | August 7, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Jesus christ, just think what wapo will do when Haynesworth actually has a good game. We'll get ten new threads an hour about him for a week.

Posted by: monkeymayonaise | August 7, 2010 2:52 PM

No we won't. You obviously haven't been around here that long. We only get the deluge of posts when the information being disseminated is negative. We won't hear about Albert during the season until a) he has a bad game or b) he is injured or misses a game.

Posted by: scampbell1975 | August 7, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Oh, so we'll hear about him right around week 1.

Posted by: RobInVaBeach | August 7, 2010 3:43 PM

Gotta love that optimism.

Posted by: scampbell1975 | August 7, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

lol at WaPo giving us the ole middle finger for requesting info on the other 78 players in camp.

Posted by: Curzon417 | August 7, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm just glad this is over. There is nothing like a sigh of relief after dissolving bad blood. Our boys need to develop a good rapport on both sides, and that can't be done without Big Al trailing. Now let's get some news on our O-D-Spec. units.

That being said, I am keeping my expectations of this season much lower despite our personnel/staff acquisitions. The past decade has taught me that as a 'Skins fan under the tenure of Snyder, it is better to be a skeptic than an irrationally hopeful fanatic. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me for 11 seasons, my GOD shame on me.

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake | August 7, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

*that can't be done with Big Al trailing.

Curses...double negative.

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake | August 7, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

From CBSSports.com

Aug 7 3:54 ET

Coach Mike Shanahan summed up his thoughts on DL Albert Haynesworth: "I'm sure he doesn't like me right now, but I'm not here to be liked." Haynesworth deals much more with defensive coordinator Jim Haslett.

Aug 7 3:58 ET

Teammates say Albert Haynesworth has accepted his role as a DE and NG in this defense. He has no choice. "I can't say he likes it," defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said. "It doesn't make a difference. We're not changing it."

Posted by: TWISI | August 7, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Aug 7 3:51 ET

Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said Albert Haynesworth will open as the backup NG but will play all over the line. However, it's likely that their best front will have Haynesworth at RE and Maake Kemoeatu at NG. Haynesworth would move inside on pass downs.

Posted by: TWISI | August 7, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Fat Albert doesn't play football - he plays Albert ball - taking off downs and flopping on the field like a child. When the end of the season comes and Fat Albert has left the field like a man and not on his back, we'll know that Fat Albert has "played football".

Posted by: laserwizard | August 7, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Oh, so we'll hear about him right around week 1.

Posted by: RobInVaBeach | August 7, 2010 3:43 PM

Gotta love that optimism.

Posted by: scampbell1975 | August 7, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

What's to be optimistic about with this guy. He finished with 41 tackles and 4 sacks in a defense that he liked, not to mention at least a half dozen times rolling around on the ground acting as though his leg had been caught in a bear trap.

He follows up said statistically monumental season by collecting a check for $21 million and completely ignoring the coach and his teammates for three months. Then follows it up with almost two weeks of not being able to pass a test that a number of non-athletes have been able to pass.

So, let's see....what positive things can I say about him?

He stomped on a Cowboy once, that was really cool.

Posted by: RobInVaBeach | August 7, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Here's the funny thing, if the Redskins start winning this will all be forgotten.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | August 7, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

What's to be optimistic about with this guy. He finished with 41 tackles and 4 sacks in a defense that he liked, not to mention at least a half dozen times rolling around on the ground acting as though his leg had been caught in a bear trap.

He follows up said statistically monumental season by collecting a check for $21 million and completely ignoring the coach and his teammates for three months. Then follows it up with almost two weeks of not being able to pass a test that a number of non-athletes have been able to pass.

So, let's see....what positive things can I say about him?

He stomped on a Cowboy once, that was really cool.

Posted by: RobInVaBeach | August 7, 2010 4:13 PM

He liked? It was reported that he hated Blache's system.

Posted by: scampbell1975 | August 7, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Blache's system was in place before he signed the contract. It was a 4-3, which is the defense he DEMANDED to play. He has said in so many words that the reason he didn't show up to camp was that he did not want to play in a 3-4 defense.

Haslett runs a 3-4, Blache ran a 4-3. So which defense does he like?

Posted by: RobInVaBeach | August 7, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Blache's system was in place before he signed the contract. It was a 4-3, which is the defense he DEMANDED to play. He has said in so many words that the reason he didn't show up to camp was that he did not want to play in a 3-4 defense.

Haslett runs a 3-4, Blache ran a 4-3. So which defense does he like?

Posted by: RobInVaBeach | August 7, 2010 4:19 PM |

You're not seeing it clearly. He obviously wanted a 4-3 but disliked Balche's version of the 4-3. Saying he likes a "4-3" is like saying he likes a "sandwich." It's kind of a generic term. Actually I guess it's nothing like that since saying he likes a "sandwich" is a given. It surely doesn't matter which kind of sandwich it is.

My point about the optimism was to say that you're awfully optimistic to think it will take until the first game that he does something negative and we hear about him again. I'm sure he'll screw up or hurt himself again before preseason is out.

Posted by: scampbell1975 | August 7, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Robin-

I was against signing Big AL and he's still a colossal d0uche but he's our colossal d0uche.

We are a better team with him and his 12 games per year than w/o him. I'm optimistic that with all of the circus like activities that has gone on in the last 3 months that he should feel like he has something to prove. Add a legitimate coaching staff and he should have a tremendous impact on the D, although it may not show up in his individual stats.

And BIG UPS to Russ Grimm and his overdue induction into the HOF. Hopefully soon to be joined by Jacoby.

Posted by: Diesel44 | August 7, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Ah, sorry scampbell, I understood the post wrong. And absolutely right about the defense comparisons.

And Diesel, unfortunately he is our d0uche. I'm just not sure he's going to use what has gone on the past three months as motivation. The only thing that seems to motivate him is a contract and getting his way.

I hope I'm wrong, I'm never going to like the guy, but I know he has amazing talent and could be the difference in this defense being average or being a top 5 D, so I'm not hoping for failure. But if this guy had pride, I think he would've passed this conditioning test a week ago.

We'll see, for the Skins sake, I hope he takes all of this mess and turns it into something positive. But I'm not holding my breath.

Posted by: RobInVaBeach | August 7, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Ah, sorry scampbell, I understood the post wrong. And absolutely right about the defense comparisons.

And Diesel, unfortunately he is our d0uche. I'm just not sure he's going to use what has gone on the past three months as motivation. The only thing that seems to motivate him is a contract and getting his way.

I hope I'm wrong, I'm never going to like the guy, but I know he has amazing talent and could be the difference in this defense being average or being a top 5 D, so I'm not hoping for failure. But if this guy had pride, I think he would've passed this conditioning test a week ago.

We'll see, for the Skins sake, I hope he takes all of this mess and turns it into something positive. But I'm not holding my breath.

Posted by: RobInVaBeach | August 7, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

OK, now it's time to see him raise that big right hand after 2 plays so he can suck oxygen on the sideline..

Posted by: wewintheylose | August 7, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Robin-

I feel the same way and that's why I used the word should twice.

Posted by: Diesel44 | August 7, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Let's be real alot of guys on our team wouldn't have past that test, do I think Big Al deserves how he has been treated yes. Do I think he past the test today NO..Shanny got with front office and realized he has broken and embarrassed him as much as he could without letting it roll over into season and risking NFLPA stepping in and making ever skin take test.. Good move shanny support you to the end but be realistic

Posted by: cube757 | August 7, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Let's be real alot of guys on our team wouldn't have past that test, do I think Big Al deserves how he has been treated yes. Do I think he past the test today NO..Shanny got with front office and realized he has broken and embarrassed him as much as he could without letting it roll over into season and risking NFLPA stepping in and making ever skin take test.. Good move shanny support you to the end but be realistic

Posted by: cube757 | August 7, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

scamp- good UFC card tonight, I'll post a site where you can watch it for free or you can check www.channelsurfing.net

Posted by: Diesel44 | August 7, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

cube757,

Mike Golic passed the test last week. 47 year old, more than a decade out of football, and not in the best of shape Mike Golic passed the test.

I'm expecting Silva to roll through Sonnen tonight. Trash-talking a dude of that caliber is a dangerous move and being threatened by Dana White should be enough (here's that word again) motivation for Silva. Really looking forward to Fitch/Alves.

Posted by: RobInVaBeach | August 7, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Rob-

Agreed. I'd give Sonnen a chance, but its slim. Anyone can get caught but if Silva brings his C game he dominates him. Fitch/Alves is gonna be nice, Clay Guida always puts on a show, and I look for dos Santos to destroy Rory Nelson.

On paper, this should be a good card.

Posted by: Diesel44 | August 7, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

REDSKIN CAMP DIARY - August 7, 2010

Dear Diary

Mommy called earlier today asking if she and could rent out my room.

She said that since I now have a regular job with the Redskins and all, perhaps it's time for me to move out of her basement and allow her to make some money on the room by renting it out to someone else.

It seems she has met a nice young lad by the name of Colt who claims to have once been a quarterback for the Redskins.

"Never heard of him, " I said.

Well, whatever. It seems he needs a room while he's waiting for his next job offer to come through.

I told Mommy. "I guess you heard that Albert passed his conditioning test today. That's good news for some, but it might make my situation a bit uncertain.

"You'll recall that I was invited to come to camp to compete for his position, and now that he seems to have reclaimed it, I'm wondering where that leaves me."

We wrapped up the phone call with a promise that I'd talk with Coach and see if we could figure out what's next for me.

A little while later, I had a conversation with (old) Coach Shanahan.

It started ominously, when he began, "Well, Son, we've been thinking of going in a different direction."

"Uh oh," I thought.

"Look," he continued. "Albert woke up today and decided to take the test. Now knowing Albert even as little as I do, I gotta figure that he could just as easily wake up tomorrow and decide that he wants to do something else. And you know his history of taking plays off and faking injuries and stuff."

So he goes on to explain that he wants me to stick around and "Push Albert."

"Push Albert?" I asked. "We all realize he's a fat assed prima donna and all, but do you really think he should be pushed around camp?"

"That's not what I meant," said Shanahan. "I just want you to stay behind him every step of the way. And every time he decides to goof off or take the easy way out, I want you to push him to do the right thing."

"Listen," I told the coach. "I'm a football player, not an exorcist. And that guy has got more deamons than Dante's inferno."

"Well that's the direction we're going" said the coach. "Do you think you can handle it?"

I thought a moment and decided, "Well, Coach, anything for the team. Count me in."

So here we are... and now Colt is moving into my old room too.

Oh well, time for dinner. Buffalo wings, my favorite!

Until next time,

Your BFF!

Posted by: Vic1 | August 7, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Golic is on P90X. LOL

Posted by: dmlopez1 | August 7, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Golic is on P90X. LOL

Posted by: dmlopez1 | August 7, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Good News.

I just hope Haynesworth excels in his new position. I can't see him NOT being great, really. He'll be taking a RB or a TE out of the play on his side most of the time, I'd guess. Which will keep the pressure where it belongs: In the other team's backfield.

I could really see our D being pretty scary with Orakpo on the other side. Things could look pretty bad for opposing QBs. COULD. Let's hope.

Posted by: Thinker_ | August 7, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Nice one ham sandwich, now play ball

Posted by: 44fx2901 | August 7, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

This will probably work for Haynesworth. They can't block everyone and he will get his shot at sacks when the linebackers collapse the poket.

But, let's face facts ... if you are long time Redskins fans you know what changing a defensive scheme means ... it means it might take between 4-6 games for it to be effective. A loss to Dallas in the opener is going to be hard to take but ... I just hope it doesn't end up in a Nolan-like debacle.

However, there is the offense. The offensive line should now be effective. The running game should be effective. The passing game with McNabb should be efficient and effective. The only real weakness will likely still be at wide out. There is no reason not to expect a reasonably effective offense.

In other words .. this year the defense will be missing ... not hitting on all cylinders initially ... whereas the offense probably will not make the glaring mistakes.

Posted by: periculum | August 7, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

This is the VERY FIRST time this franchise has fielded a 3-4 defense in any shape or form.

Hope for the best but don't be upset if it initially comes out looking like a train wreck.

Posted by: periculum | August 7, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Blache's system was in place before he signed the contract. It was a 4-3, which is the defense he DEMANDED to play. He has said in so many words that the reason he didn't show up to camp was that he did not want to play in a 3-4 defense.

Haslett runs a 3-4, Blache ran a 4-3. So which defense does he like?

Posted by: RobInVaBeach | August 7, 2010 4:19 PM

Yeah, except the defensive plays were all conservative and since Blache always played the run first, he didn't let his DLmen loose and unleash the hounds often enough. Blache's defense is likely much different from someone like Spagnuolo's, due to differences in terminology nomenclature and philosphy. The only thing they share is that the formation will have 4 Dlinemen and 3 linebackers, not the actual playcalls, etc. The 3-4 also has its variants, namely the Fairbanks-Bullogh system, the Phillips variant, and the Lebeau zone blitz variant, and I believe that most of Haslett's D is based on the Lebeau variant.

Posted by: slurpeesarecool | August 7, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Glad that whole mess is over. Next story - Jamal Brown's hip, is it going to hold up?

Posted by: coparker5 | August 7, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Colt Brennen has signed with...................the Raiders!

Posted by: vexed50verizonnet | August 7, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse

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