The battle of wills between Redskins coach Mike Shanahan and ambitiously lazy defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth shows no signs of slowing down. Indeed, the third time was NOT the charm when Haynesworth attempted, once again, to pass his team-mandated physical, this time “injuring” his knee on the third sprint. From the AP:
The two-time All-Pro defensive tackle tried to take the Washington Redskins conditioning test again Monday morning, but he pulled up after three back-and-forth sprints because he felt some irritation in his left knee.
The AP also notes that Haynesworth failed the same test on Thursday, “after taking an extended bathroom break in the middle of it,” which might be the greatest thing I’ve ever read. I can practically picture Haynesworth going to the bathroom, trying to sneak out the bathroom window, only to be too fat to fit through the window and stuck there until rescue crews arrive on the scene with cranes and vats of butter.
Every training camp season produces non-stories like this Haynesworth business, but the Haynesworth story is particularly amusing because both sides are so utterly unsympathetic. Everyone knew the second that Washington threw gobs of money at Haynesworth that he’d become the second coming of Dana Stubblefield. It was practically a given, considering Haynesworth’s reputation.
What’s hilarious is that Shanahan thinks this bogus fitness test will somehow improve the situation. This isn’t the Army. It’s not like Haynesworth really NEEDS to pass this test. In fact, Shanny has already indicated he’ll probably let Haynesworth practice even if he never passes. So why would Haynesworth even try? He won’t, and at some point, the Skins will have to just let him play.
They didn’t need to go through all this nonsense with Haynesworth. He earned the distrust of Skins fans a lonnnnng time ago. They could have just quietly reinforced to Haynesworth that he wasn’t going to be traded, and then gone on with things. That’s what the Bengals did with Chad Ochocinco a few years back, and eventually Ocho fell in line.
Because he probably feels publicly slighted by Shanny, Haynesworth will now never do likewise. He’ll just get fatter and surlier until the team either cuts him, or rents him out to the Navy as an aircraft carrier.
It’s fun when teams take a stand against players as a matter of principle, but that rarely gets you anywhere in the NFL. Management in the NFL is usually about gritting your teeth and putting up with the more intolerable aspects of a player in order to get maximum production out of them. That won’t happen this year with Albert Haynesworth. The Good Humor wrappers littering the field at Redskins Park are a pretty good sign of that.