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Haynesworth Ready to Play His Game

When it comes to Redskins players who will be under the microscope, you'd have to put defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth right near the top of the list.

The Redskins made Haynesworth the game's highest-paid defensive player in luring him from the Tennessee Titans, and owner Daniel Snyder expects bigger things defensively after adding the dominant interior lineman to a group that was ranked fourth overall in the 2008 season. Haynesworth usually faces double-teams, and he's expects to do as much or more heavily lifting this season.

"I know what I've got to do as far as a player," he said. "I just go out there and play my game."

Haynesworth usually encounters double-teams on every play, creating opportunities for others around him. The Redskins hope that does not change.

"I'm kind of used to it. I've always been double-teamed," Haynesworth said. "It's really no different. It's just part of the game. I don't look at it like, 'Gosh, I hope I don't get double-teamed.' I know it's going to happen anyway.

"You've just got to capitalize [if he's not double-teamed]. Last year, I got a good bit of my sacks still on double-teams, just splitting it. One guy kind of relaxes and goes to another guy, and me beating the one guy. That's part of my game. It's something I'm used to. Just get up field and keep pushing."

Haynesworth could have a great season and still fail to match his sack total of 8.5 in 2008 - a stunning accomplishment for an interior lineman. If Haynesworth, who hasn't played a full season since his rookie year, remains healthy, expect him to provide the push and big plays the team needs. The guy takes a lot of pride in his performance, and I get the sense he really wants to get off to a good start in the first year of a contract that could be worth as much as $100 million.

By Jason Reid  |  September 10, 2009; 5:47 AM ET
Categories:  Jason Reid  
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Comments

It's not even the FIRST year of the contract I'd be worried about him living up to, it's down the road, years 3 or 4 that worry me. I'm sure he'll work hard to justify it this year.

Posted by: WrongDog | September 10, 2009 6:06 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, fellow Redskins fans and Giant haters! I can't wait to see Haynesworth plow thru the Giants and sticking it to them!

Posted by: RedCherokee | September 10, 2009 6:11 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: RedCherokee | September 10, 2009 7:04 AM | Report abuse

We'll see...hope I'm wrong, but I smell Stubblefield 2.0...

Posted by: brownwood26 | September 10, 2009 7:09 AM | Report abuse

Don't see it that way Brownwood.

AH is chasing the legacy of Reggie. I hope he gets in the conversation. He has a long way to go, but its a great personal goal for him to have.

Anybody else sensing a quiet sense of confidence coming out of Redskin Park this year?

BTW, F Tom Coughlin. B!tch.

Posted by: SkinsfaninKaneohe | September 10, 2009 7:14 AM | Report abuse

The skins are always confident. They just haven't been able to back it up for years.

Posted by: sjw1 | September 10, 2009 7:22 AM | Report abuse

I think the team is going to win Sunday. Can we stop talking about AH not playing a complete season?

Posted by: jm220 | September 10, 2009 7:24 AM | Report abuse

Conjuring up "the diesel" from golden times, that monniker applies to HAYNESWORTH as well. Can't wait for Sunday.

Posted by: glawrence007 | September 10, 2009 7:26 AM | Report abuse

Stop talking about AH not playing the whole year?? Are you kidding? WAPO will beat that drum and fan that flame while HOPING that it comes true so they can take another months long shot at their favorite whipping boy.

Posted by: SkinsfaninKaneohe | September 10, 2009 7:26 AM | Report abuse

I think the team is going to win Sunday. Can we stop talking about AH not playing a complete season?

Posted by: jm220 | September 10, 2009 7:24 AM

That talk will stop when, you know, he plays a complete season.

And yes, the Skins are ALWAYS confident. Their problem isn't confidence, it's over-confidence.

Posted by: brownwood26 | September 10, 2009 7:27 AM | Report abuse

Enuf with the talk!!!!!!

I'm ready for some football!

Tonite's stillers v. titans?

We take the stillers to win as we expect the titans to have a down year.


(INSERT image of Moe waving a Redskin rag over his head as he'll never own a black 'n gold terrible towel.)

Posted by: MistaMoe | September 10, 2009 7:58 AM | Report abuse

We'll see...hope I'm wrong, but I smell Stubblefield 2.0...

Posted by: brownwood26 | September 10, 2009 7:09 AM | Report abuse

Stubby was never as dominant a player nor as gifted athletically....but I am a bit concerned as well. He hasn't looked himself so far and looks out of shape. Maybe he's going to kick it into overdrive now but I just haven't seen what I was expecting. Please please prove me wrong Fat Albert....his ability to command/beat double teams is key to us dominating on D and staying in games even when JC strggles (and can be our shaky secondary's best friend)

Posted by: Notorious_LMG | September 10, 2009 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Haynesworth = Stubblefield.

But hey -- he's selling jerseys. And that's what matters.

Posted by: Diesel_Skins | September 10, 2009 8:00 AM | Report abuse

brownwood

"We'll see...hope I'm wrong, but I smell Stubblefield 2.0..."

You smell that too?

We must be cooking on the same grill.

I was hoping the '..big splashy move...' would've been a trade for Jordan Gross or Jake Grove, you know, two offensive linemen in their prime.

Posted by: MistaMoe | September 10, 2009 8:01 AM | Report abuse

I just want to see Blache play with the Giants' offensive coordinator's mind by lining up Haynesworth at end for the first few plays. You know the Giants are going to be planning on doubling up on him in the middle, so what are their plans when he lines up outside? I'd test them right off the bat by moving Haynesworth all over the place. Heck, I'd even line him up as a middle linebacker 3 or 4 yards deep and then have him blitz.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | September 10, 2009 8:03 AM | Report abuse

"We'll see...hope I'm wrong, but I smell Stubblefield 2.0..."

Nope, you're very wrong.

Big Al is the real deal. He commands 2 or 3 guys on him every play.

If the other guys around him (sacks, pressures, tackles) totals do not go up then shame on them and they should be replaced.

IMHO if Daniels, Carter, and Griffin can't get the job done now then there are no excuses for those guys. Orakpo will easily be the defensive rookie of the year this year.

Hall and Smoot will have at least 4 INT's just because of Big Al.

The Redskins will win 3 games this year just because of Big AL.

I think all of that alone is worth the $100mil he was paid. I think if people are expecting 10+ sacks a year from him, then that's not going to happen. But he's sooo good and demands so much attention he makes everyone on that defense better just having him on the field.

I don't know why people keep comparing him to Stubbleflop, there's nothing to really compare. It's like comparing Reggie White to Al Noga.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | September 10, 2009 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Heck, I'd even line him up as a middle linebacker 3 or 4 yards deep and then have him blitz.

Posted by: RedSkinHead

I would love to see Elisha get all wet in the panties over that, LOL

Posted by: SkinsfaninKaneohe | September 10, 2009 8:08 AM | Report abuse

MistaMoe,
I think the Titans are going to win. I am beginning to think that Tomlin is a head case and the players are going to stop playing for him. That little stunt he did in preseason with the bus for the team to go to the movies, and then canceled it saying, "they needed to learn about being disappointed" was just too much. That's not how you earn respect. Fisher, on the other hand, is a good coach who has rebuilt the Titans into a juggernaut. There's a lot of talent on that team, and they are structured so that the quarterback just had to keep from making mistakes in order for them to win games (hey, maybe that's Jason Campbell's next team).

Posted by: RedSkinHead | September 10, 2009 8:12 AM | Report abuse

brown, what is it with you?? You're Dr. Doom and Gloom, everything sucks, everyone sucks, this sucks, that sucks, thats Deion redone, he's Bruce Smith the 2nd, that guy is a Taylor Jacobs clone, they can't draft, they can't run, they can't pass they can't catch,....you're a depressing guy, whats up with you. Why follow the team if they make you so miserable.....I don't get it...

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | September 10, 2009 8:13 AM | Report abuse

rmcazz,
I like your enthusiasm but that is a lot to put on one player. The Redskins were already a good defense. Haynesworth just pushes them up a notch. He will make his plays but he will be part of a rotation in the hopes of keeping him fresh and healthy all season long. Yes, he'll help other defenders by taking up double teams, but he won't be taking up double teams while he is out of the rotation. The dude was a good signing, although way over-priced. He'll add something to the defense, but there are ten other players on the field that are really good and they are all potential difference-makers.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | September 10, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Big Al will be ready to perform. My only hope is that the other guys on the Defensive line can beat their man 1 on 1. I am still not so sure. Well hopefully something has to give, either beat their guy 1- on-1 or Greg Blache, who is only obsessed about stopping the run, changes up his system a little bit and actually come up with some "exotic blitzes"

Correct me if I'm wrong but when Greg Williams was here, our Defense was exciting to watch and they created havoc all over the place. In addition to getting sacks.

Posted by: gcoles32 | September 10, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Big Al will be ready to perform. My only hope is that the other guys on the Defensive line can beat their man 1 on 1. I am still not so sure. Well hopefully something has to give, either beat their guy 1- on-1 or Greg Blache, who is only obsessed about stopping the run, changes up his system a little bit and actually come up with some "exotic blitzes"

Correct me if I'm wrong but when Greg Williams was here, our Defense was exciting to watch and they created havoc all over the place. In addition to getting sacks.

Posted by: gcoles32 | September 10, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

brown, what is it with you?? You're Dr. Doom and Gloom, everything sucks, everyone sucks, this sucks, that sucks, thats Deion redone, he's Bruce Smith the 2nd, that guy is a Taylor Jacobs clone, they can't draft, they can't run, they can't pass they can't catch,....you're a depressing guy, whats up with you. Why follow the team if they make you so miserable.....I don't get it...

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | September 10, 2009 8:13 AM


I answered this yesterday, and I'll answer again: the worse I think of this team, they better they play. Every time I thought they were in line for a top 10 draft pick, they mad the playoffs. Every time I booked Super Bowl tickets, they drafted in the top 10 the following year. Just playing my role.

So it's a combination of that and refusing to huff burgundy and gold ganja with regards to my team's chances. I'm a realist, not a blind optimist.

Posted by: brownwood26 | September 10, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

"I'm a realist, not a blind optimist"

Right...because of course a realist would claim that AH will be Stubby II...sure....

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | September 10, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day! I have a wonderful feeling I be watching football today!

Posted by: alex35332 | September 10, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

beeps

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | September 10, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

beeep

Posted by: alex35332 | September 10, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

I am beginning to think that Tomlin is a head case and the players are going to stop playing for him. That little stunt he did in preseason with the bus for the team to go to the movies, and then canceled it saying, "they needed to learn about being disappointed" was just too much. That's not how you earn respect.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | September 10, 2009 8:12 AM

Wow. Just wow.

I live up in PA and I get to see the Steelers a lot...Tomlin is the goods. And I hate to break it to you, but he's been pulling stunts like you named since Day 1. And I'm pretty sure it works...he's got the hardware to prove it. He wore a black, long sleeve shirt during training camp last year during the hottest day of the year to "provide mental warfare with the players". As long as you respect them as men, the players don't care about that stuff ultimately.

Trust me...Tomlin's a VA boy and I've followed his career from the start. He's way legit and easily one of the top 5 coaches in the game.

Steelers win tonight 21-13.

Posted by: brownwood26 | September 10, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Let's not forget we got Orakpo also. With two guys double teaming Al, that just opens the gates for Mr. O to sic the QB. I'm almost more excited about Orakpo than AH.

Posted by: DrWho2 | September 10, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Two conflicting facts:

The value of a player like Haynesworth (or Reggie White) lies in drawing double teams. If a defensive coordinator knows that Defensive Lineman X is going to be double-teamed on 50% of the snaps, he can plan in advance how he's going to take advantage of the resulting mismatches. It's the defensive equivalent of having an elite wide receiver -- frees up your game plan in other areas.

Two: based on history, the addition of a stud defensive linemen can't be expected to have a great positive impact on defensive performance stats. The Skins may actually rank lower than last season. Also can't be expected to have a direct effect on won-loss record.

Posted by: Samson151 | September 10, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Samson - Basic fact. Give the QB all day to throw like we have been doing, he will beat you bad. You have to pressure the QB. So I do expect a better record, or at least fewer points scored by the opposing team than previous years.

Posted by: DrWho2 | September 10, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

"Samson - Basic fact. Give the QB all day to throw like we have been doing, he will beat you bad. You have to pressure the QB. So I do expect a better record, or at least fewer points scored by the opposing team than previous years.Posted by: DrWho2"

You might well get it. But there are too many other variables to predict it.

Posted by: Samson151 | September 10, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I'm not necessarily looking for sacks from Haynesworth. I want to see opposing runningbacks trying to bounce everything outside or stutter-stepping in the backfield. On passing plays, I want to see interior blitzers come clean to the QB because two opposing linemen are locked onto Haynesworth. I want to see quarterbacks side-stepping in a collapsed pocket, giving the DBs an extra half-second to break on the ball. If Haynesworth never gets a sack all season but the Redskins make big game-changing plays on defense, he'll have been worth the investment.

Posted by: manalive | September 10, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

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