Let me first start by saying this, I don’t condone Albert Haynesworth‘s actions over the course of the season. In fact, Haynesworth is a lazy and selfish player. He’s about himself #1, which makes him a poor teammate as well. That being said, there are people that are paid very handsomely to get the most out of their players and to get them to buy into the team’s concepts, those people are called head coaches. Mike Shanahan F’d the Haynesworth situation up six ways from Sunday from the beginning.
Everyone’s heard the story of the time when Joe Gibbs was first hired as the head coach of the Redskins and he went to visit John Riggins at his farm in Kentucky. Riggins greeted the coach in the early morning, beer in hand. Riggins had sat out the previous year in a contract dispute. Gibbs was there to get Riggins to buy into his coaching philosophy and to open the lines of communication with his star player. Hangovers, showing up late to meetings and excess drinking…oh yeah, Riggo had those issues. John Riggins once attended a Gibbs meeting, not hungover…but drunk, literally piss drunk. HE PISSED ON THE FLOOR OF THE MEETING ROOM WHILE THE MEETING WAS HAPPENING! But, Gibbs got the most out of Riggins on the field and they’re both in the Hall of Fame.
I don’t know what attempts were made by Shanahan to open his lines of communication with Haynesworth early on, but I have serious doubts that he tried to at all. Not letting him practice with the team and making an example of him during training camp with the conditioning test was over the top and degrading. I’m all for making examples but he took it too far. Making a Pro Bowl player play every play of a pre-season game? That’s a coach with an ego driven agenda. Again, Haynesworth is as much to blame with his laziness, not attending off-season workouts and missing nearly of a week of training camp with a
But why did Haynesworth regress? Why didn’t Shanahan and his coaching staff get him to buy into the new defensive philosophy? Why could he not get on the field when he played at such a high level when he was actually on it? Why won’t he talk to the head coach anymore? Why did Shanahan not communicate with Devin Thomas, nor give Thomas a chance to play on offense?
I’ll tell you why…Shanahan isn’t doing his job. Or maybe he’s doing the job he’s always done, because without John Elway and Terrell Davis he’s basically a .500 coach who hasn’t won anything in 13 years.
Cheers and Hail