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Zorn: Haynesworth discipline 'was necessary'

Redskins Coach Jim Zorn sent Albert Haynesworrth home from practice after a disciplinary infraction Friday morning, the latest bit of turbulence for a team that has endured a torrent of off-the-field distractions this season.

Zorn declined to specify the nature of Haynesworth's violation, but sources with knowledge of the situation said Haynesworth reported late for a team meeting this morning. One source added that Haynesworth was told not to attend practice because of his tardiness, but he walked out to the practice field anyway. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak on an internal matter.

The incident occurred during the early part of practice, which the media is allowed to watch. Haynesworth and Zorn had an animated conversation for about 10 minutes while the rest of the team stretched. Defensive coordinator Greg Blache eventually joined them; Zorn said Blache was alerting him that practice was beginning. Moments later, Haynesworth walked back into the facility and soon left Redskins Park.

"I sent Albert home, just for disciplinary reasons," Zorn said after the practice session. "I think that all that will be kept between Albert and I. He wasn't belligerent or nasty to me, and I was not nasty to him. It was just something that needed to be done. It's just between us and our football team, and I hope it stays that way."

Zorn said the team's highest-paid defensive player would be back Saturday and would be allowed to play Sunday night against the Dallas Cowboys, though he wouldn't commit to starting Haynesworth, both because of the disciplinary issue and because of a leg injury.

The incident occurred less than a week after Haynesworth made biting comments about the team's lack of leadership and his own role on a defense that ranks ninth in the NFL. Zorn said those comments had nothing to do with Friday's events.

"It was just a difference of logic maybe and difference of the priorities," Zorn said. "So I handled things the way I felt I should. ... I think it's not unique to me. It happens around the NFL, and I see [those things] handled all the time, and hopefully I'm handling things in the proper way."

Zorn said he wasn't attempting to send any sort of larger message by having his conversation with Haynesworth in full view of the team and media members, and he said he hadn't dealt with a similar situation as a head coach.

"[It was] my first experience, but it was necessary," Zorn said. "And I don't suspect this is gonna be something that happens all the time."

By Dan Steinberg  |  December 25, 2009; 4:57 PM ET
 
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Comments

First. Noel.

Posted by: mikeysuperdons | December 25, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Zorn said

"and hopefully I'm handling things in the proper way."

Well Zorn, what is the procedure for handling tardiness? I highly doubt it is to keep a player out of practice. The one person that spoke out about Zorn's leadership skill is sent home..hmmmm. This stinks of a coach that has lost the team's focus because he'll be fired soon making a rash decision (another in a series of poor decisions IMO).

Posted by: TWISI | December 25, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Zorn better watch out, lest Big Al sit on him. Unless we hear Haynesworth had some blatant disregard for the team, I think Zorn's being a Grinch. I agree with you, TWISI.

Posted by: alizadk | December 25, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

"It happens around the NFL, and I see [those things] handled all the time, and hopefully I'm handling things in the proper way."
------------------------

"Hopefully?" This lightweight is sooo unsure of himself it makes me sick.

The sooner he's out of town the better.

Merry Christmas to the RI regulars.

Posted by: MrRedskin21 | December 25, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Same to you MrRedskin21.

Posted by: TWISI | December 25, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Don't for the life of me understand how Snyder has prospered in business to the point where Forbes cornsiders him a billionaire. His choice of Z as Skins HC has all the earmarks of a person who is clueless about what he is doing. He took someone who had been working on the fringes and had exhibited no signs of being HC material to anyone and put him in the single most important and high pressure position of a billion $$$ organization, fully expecting the dud to succeed. Has it been a surprise to anyone save DS that the dud has sucksucked instead of succeeding?

Posted by: BlackBagOps | December 25, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Merry Christmas to the RI regulars.

Posted by: MrRedskin21 | December 25, 2009 5:16 PM |

WTF? Imma RI irregualr and can't get no Xmas love from you?

Posted by: BlackBagOps | December 25, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

"Haynesworth sent home for disciplinary reasons"

You get into a fight with B Jacobs.

You come late to practice, get into a fight with the coaches.

Your overall conditioning is such that you need a 'break' during offensive drives that the opponents immediately take advantage of.

$48 million should at least bring some sense of leadership out of a guy.

Right now, Haynesworth is Big Daddy Wilkinson and Sean Gilbert all rolled into one.

Prince Al should still be a titan.

Tennessee lost him, and for right now, are a team on the rise.

He is not missed on the field, trust me.

Albert Haynesworth is half the impact player that, say, Julius Peppers or Ed Reed in his prime was.

Or what Brian Orakpo will be.

Prince Al is another Cerrato-obtained shiny object that, in the full glow of a failing season, has lost it's luster.

Posted by: MistaMoe

Merry Christmas All.

Agree with all but your last two comments. Not sure Orakpo will be a true impact player--looks like he will be--but there's a long way to go for him.

And I would bet Snyder had as much if not more to do with bringing in Haynesworth than Vinster..

Zorn's thru in DC, but he's learning how to be a head coach and that's a good message to send to the players who are playing the last two games, and those on the next teams he coaches.

Posted by: TheCork | December 25, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Zorn's thru in DC, but he's learning how to be a head coach and that's a good message to send to the players who are playing the last two games, and those on the next teams he coaches.

Posted by: TheCork | December 25, 2009 5:30 PM |

Like a Pee Wee league team somewhere?

Posted by: BlackBagOps | December 25, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Well Zorn, what is the procedure for handling tardiness? I highly doubt it is to keep a player out of practice. The one person that spoke out about Zorn's leadership skill is sent home..hmmmm. This stinks of a coach that has lost the team's focus because he'll be fired soon making a rash decision (another in a series of poor decisions IMO).

Posted by: TWISI |

I disagree with. Zorn's problem isn't that he's disciplining players, it's that he started too late disciplining players.

This team including Haynesworth, quit on the coaches the owner and fans Monday. The coach needs to go after the lead bull and chop him down a peg, to get the others to listen. Portis wasn't around for that.

Once Haynesworth was sent home and decided he would go out to practice anyway, Zorn had no choice but to make sure he went home.

I think he was mistaken to say he would allow Haynesworth to play Sunday. He SHOULD have said he will play Sunday if there are no other issues involving him.

This ain't supposed to be the Mad Hatter's Tea Party. After Monday, the whip can't be cracked hard enough IMO.

Those clowns (with a few exceptions) deserve no mercy after they quit like that. They were a disgrace to the city and the team and themselves.

Posted by: TheCork | December 25, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Haynesworth might not be worth all that cash, but to say he hasn't had a positive effect on the Skins' defense is, well, dumb.

The only real argument is about how much effect.

This is a formidable football player.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 25, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Zorn's thru in DC, but he's learning how to be a head coach and that's a good message to send to the players who are playing the last two games, and those on the next teams he coaches.

Posted by: TheCork | December 25, 2009 5:30 PM |

Like a Pee Wee league team somewhere?

Posted by: BlackBagOps

We get you don't like Zorn. NE fans hated Pete Carroll when he bumbled his way thru coaching the Patriots, but he's done okay coaching USC since then.

Posted by: TheCork | December 25, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

They were a disgrace to the city...

Posted by: TheCork | December 25, 2009 5:37 PM

Cork, We have Congress here. Next to them, the Redskins are a model of excellence.

Posted by: League-Source | December 25, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Cork I would agree with your reply, except on Monday it didn't appear that Haynesworth quit. I forgot with coach mentioned Haynesworth, along with a handful of players, being leaders at halftime a rallying the team. My issue with this action is that it is really retaliatory because Haynesworth called Zorn out. This action had little to do with leading the Skins. It had more to do with Zorn posturing for his next coaching opportunity.

Posted by: TWISI | December 25, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

"It had more to do with Zorn posturing for his next coaching opportunity."

100% correct and it's sad.

Just when you thought Zorn couldn't look any more stupider then calling that lame a$$ fake FG, he sends his best DT home because he spoke up about "how the Redskins are not using him properly."

I mean come on? How many times has CLINTON PORTIS said something worse and absolutely nothing happen to him?

Geeze give me a break.

Zorn should never coach again, he just makes himself look more moronic by the day.

Someone said the Redskins should have fired Zorn after Monday night and I totally agree. This might be the ONLY time I want Snyder to do something and he's not.

I don't think the next week and half can get here any faster for me.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 25, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Stanley, you are such an idiot. You don't HAVE to talk to the media about why you choose to do things. Part of your problem is you don't know when to just STFU and you vomit your heart felt ideas all over yourself. "Its between Albert and me" and leave it at that. When they badger you, just ask "any questions not related to Albert?" and then leave the room or pack of reporters when the next idiot reporter follows up with another Albert question.

Second: How late was Albert? I get that you have to try and maintain discipline, but lets face it, Christmas morning with two games left in your HC career is not the time to start breaking all tough guy.

Why not a fine... or here is a wild idea... extra conditioning for Albert? Or is that not allowed per the NFLPA contract?

It seems to me that Albert is pretty pissed off and demotivated by the LAME AZZ way the Redskins as a whole and Zorn in particular have approached the end of the Zorn DEBACLE 09. From Albert's perspective why should he care to show up on time? HE was the only one willing to brawl, Zorn didn't have his back, and the Organization as a whole is dysfunctional. I can't really say I blame him. In his spot, I would be very very tempted to roll in when I was done on Christmas morning with my family, too. Has nobody here just had one of those "F It" mornings and blown off any pretense of being on time?

Apparently he is not two faced enough to keep giving a crap when nobody else does. Its not like HE is auditioning for a spot on a team. There will be one for him.

Posted by: SkinsfaninKaneohe | December 25, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

So glad we decided to spend all that money on Haynesworth instead of spreading it out to multiple holes on the team.

Posted by: stwasm | December 25, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

So glad we decided to spend all that money on Haynesworth instead of spreading it out to multiple holes on the team.

Posted by: stwasm | December 25, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

It seems to me that Albert is pretty pissed off and demotivated by the LAME AZZ way the Redskins as a whole and Zorn in particular have approached the end of the Zorn DEBACLE 09.

POSTED BY: Skins fan in Kaneohe

The go into his office or Blatche's office and tell them. Whining like a petulant, spoiled multimillionaire child to the media is classless, counterproductive and immature. __THE CORK

From Albert's perspective why should he care to show up on time?

KANEOHO.

Because he's required to do so as a professional employee of the Washington Redskins football team, for openers. Because he's paid to. Because he wants to show leadership, for another. And MOSLY, if he's gonna lambast the system he doesnt' feel uses him properly, he should come to meetings and see how the freaking system is supposed to work in the first place.

No one doubts his skill sets when his bad conditioning and frequent injuries (and perhaps pouting) allows him to get in the game and play.

But his lack of maturity, his public airing of dirty laundry, and his unwillingness to get in top condition show the cat has considerable downside, too

Posted by: TheCork | December 25, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: huangzhixian181 | December 25, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Albert Haynesworthless, that's what he is. He is worthless. Plays half the time, thinks he is better than the team. Get rid of him, not to mention, cries wolf after every play. He is a national joke. Probably the only player to be carted off the field and yet be back in the same game.

Posted by: tony28 | December 25, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Probably the only player to be carted off the field and yet be back in the same game.

Posted by: tony28 | December 25, 2009 7:20 PM

Paul Pierce. NBA finals. Piss poor in both cases

Posted by: ToddStinkston | December 25, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

I am clueless here, but this is what I do know:

Jason Taylor was used incorrectly, we know this for sure.

Fat Albert the Great (or might be great if we get a HC that isn't afraid or hand-cuffed to tell him to lose 25 lbs and get into shape during the off-season) is now ALSO complaining about not being used properly.

And the Common Denominator is?

Blache.

Posted by: PinotNoir | December 25, 2009 11:24 PM | Report abuse

WOW! Just when you thought one wheel was left on the bus. Blache's shceme does suck but Albert was out of line.

Posted by: dcwun | December 25, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Fat Albert is right here. A TOP defense must ALSO be getting turnovers, sacks, and being darn agressive. We have our top ranking by being somewhat good along with playing everything safe. No press on WR's etc. We won't win a SB this way.

Posted by: PinotNoir | December 25, 2009 11:27 PM | Report abuse

I don't agree with being tardy - It is his job to be to work on time. But that aside, I think they are trying to punish him for his comments after the Giants game. I think Coach Blache is a good Coordinator, but the defense has given up huge plays this year. When I watch the games, it looks as though we don't get good enough pressure on the QB due to the gap discipline. Haynesworth may not be in as good of shape as you'd like him to be - but if you can let him play 100 % in the way he excels at, then there would be game changing plays. It's like having Orakpo at LB and then putting his hand in the dirt. We have all witnessed the difference. The Skins said they would allow Albert to do what he did at Tennesee and they have not really changed and we still improved in sacks. Imagine if they would actually make good on their promise

Posted by: fullonfully | December 26, 2009 12:20 AM | Report abuse

what a joke. buy huge expensive parts for your team and then fail to use them right, to the point of frustration. and everyone says how "good" our defense is, well last I looked Blache's record is 4-10, with nowhere near enough takeaways.

I'm with Albert on this one, too much evidence of playing good players out of position and with dumb restrictions and poor results.

Blache is gone in a couple weeks anyhoo

Posted by: greatteamdan | December 26, 2009 1:41 AM | Report abuse

Here is the smoking gun that the former Management Council did not ask the coaches if a prospective player they wanten to pursue would fit their scheme. You don't pay $100 Mill to a gap filler. Let's ask the players if the coach fits their scheme. We need to get on the same page. Step aside Mr. Dan and let Bruce pull this hobby of yours back together.

Posted by: donsilvester | December 26, 2009 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Didn't bill belichek send players home a few weeks back for being late? This happens all the time, but since the has played like garbage, anything the coach does gets ripped to shreds. Al needs to rest his injured leg so he wreck romo and the cowgirls playoff chances.

Posted by: BigE44 | December 26, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

TWISI wrote:Zorn said

"and hopefully I'm handling things in the proper way."

"Well Zorn, what is the procedure for handling tardiness? I highly doubt it is to keep a player out of practice."


--------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------

It sounds to me like Hayneworth was testing Zorn's authority, and got pushed back...all the way off the playing field. My guess is Zorn told Haynesworth "I told you you weren't practicing today, Al...If you want more trouble, go ahead and test me."

I'm happy to see that. These players remind me of students who, for whatever conceived excuse they can come up with, fail to do their homework, research, or anything else other than just float through life. Their only tool to succeed is to see how far they can push people to do as little as possible. Met by weak, incompetent, or uncaring authority, these folks miss a very important lesson in life.

Sometimes folks need a little push to get them going where they need to go. If Zorn had let Haynesworth practice after telling him he couldn't, then Zorn would never be able to get back his authority. You can almost imagine the litttle sneer Haynesworth would have shown if he had gotten his way. Zorn did the right thing.

Posted by: swatkins1 | December 26, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

another example of the large ego's on the coaching staff and the fact that Zorn has lost all control. If you cannot talk to the coaches during the game then how can you make adjustments. If Greg "I'M IN CHARGE" blache makes all the decisions, then why do his guys get interceptions ripped out of their hands and returned for touchdowns? That would be Blache's fault. FIRE THEM ALL

Posted by: ergoroc | December 26, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

It's not uncommon for players to be fined for being tardy or sent home, or, for that matter, not starting. The message to a player has to get across that players have responsibility.

An earlier post wrote ":I can't really say I blame him. In his spot, I would be very very tempted to roll in when I was done on Christmas morning with my family, too. Has nobody here just had one of those "F It" mornings and blown off any pretense of being on time?"

You're not a professional ball player, nor, apparently, with the same responsibilities Mr. Haynesworth agreed to when he joined the NFL or when he signed his contract. His responsibility is to the team and if he was going to be late, he could and should have called in.

Mr. Haynesworth complained about lack of leadership. Granted that with money doesn't come leadership, but isn't it implied when you agree to a contract that he signed that he would provide some leadership? That he would set an example for others? For that matter, didn't he ask, before he signed his contract, before training started, and during the season, how he'd be used? Or did he just do what they told him to do (forgetting arriving out of shape, pulling himself out of games for injuries or apparent windedness) and only now he's objecting to his status and how they play him? Why not say something sooner, when the season was still important? Why not work with the defensive coaches on how to play the game for this team earlier in the year? And, regardless of anything else, why not, if you think the team needs leadership, step up and show yourself to be a leader?

Personally, I find what Mr. Haynesworth said about the team needing leadership an indictment of the players (and himself) for not stepping out without having to be forced to, than more than his being critical of the coaching staff or management. But that's just my thinking.

dungarees@gmail.com

Posted by: Dungarees | December 26, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Albert: CUT HIM NOW - TONIGHT! Eat the money or fire him "for cause" (contractual language). This move would so clearly be ADDITION BY SUBTRACTION! Also, why not blow the whole thing up and get rid of the other divas...C.P., L.L, C.R., D.H., Colt,
D.T.

Posted by: rrlyon131 | December 26, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

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