Here’s the truth about Albert Haynesworth: He’s getting paid a guaranteed $41 million to play football for the Washington Redskins, but he’s not starting. And now he says he’s not good enough to play nose tackle in the Redskins’ base 3-4 defense.
In his first midweek interview session with the media Thursday, Haynesworth said he’s grown content with his role as part-time player in nickel packages. He can rush the passer and play a role similar to the one had for seven seasons with the Tennessee Titans.
But as for the Redskins’ defense, according to the Associated Press, he said, “I’m not good enough to play the 3-4.”
Haynesworth is coming off his best game this season. He had one sack (his first since 2009) and made a key goal-line stop in a 17-14 victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunday.
“Now that we’ve changed some of the things that I do, it’s helped a lot,” he said. “I don’t have to think as much on the field – I can just go out and play.”
Of course, Haynesworth never warmed up to the 3-4 defense preferred by coach Mike Shanahan, and the drama continued from the offseason to training camp. The team offered to release him if he opted not to collect a $21-million roster bonus in April (he took the money). He later asked to be traded and subsequently missed all offseason workouts. It took him several tries to pass a required conditioning test.
Now comes this revelation.
“Trying to get him to do the 3-4 stuff was trying to get a square peg into a round hole,” defensive cootdinator Jim Haslett said. “We tried to force the issue, and it hasn't worked out the way that we would like. I still think he can do it because he's a good athlete and is athletic and smart and tough enough to do it.”
That might be true, but unless Haynesworth gets on board, it’s not going to work. At the moment, he’s happy with the arrangement.
Asked if he thinks he’ll be with the ‘Skins next season, Haynesworth said, “I don’t know. I have no clue. Right now, if I just keep playing, I’ll be somewhere.”