Albert Haynesworth‘s locker was mobbed after the game this evening. Between his comments to the Washington Post earlier this week criticizing defensive coordinator Greg Blache and his history of holding forth at length after grim primetime losses, it didn’t make sense to be anywhere else in the locker room.
But this wasn’t the disappointed, miserable Haynesworth from the post-Eagles loss; nor was it the more fiery, frustrated Haynesworth from last Monday night’s game. Instead this was a milder, more amiable Haynesworth, one who couched his messages of frustration in some gentle, self-deprecating humor and tried to clarify his earlier statements in plain-spoken language.
Clarification: the leadership issue.
AFTER THE GIANTS GAME: “I just think we’re all goin’ different directions and we need somebody to lead us in the right direction.”
THIS EVENING: “A contract don’t make you, as far as leadership. I don’t like to … I’ve never been a guy that wants to talk, get in front of the team and say whatever. It’s not me. I just like to go play the game and, y’know, do that. I’m not a guy that’s gonna try to, like, hype up people and all that stuff. I don’t even wanna be a captain and go out there in the middle of the coin toss, because I consider the other team an enemy, and I don’t wanna shake hands until after the game.”
Clarification: his relationship with Greg Blache.
THIS PAST WEEK: Haynesworth basically accused Blache of not using him effectively in his defensive schemes. It was not a friendly-sounding article.
THIS EVENING: “I talked to Blache and we’re all great and everything’s fine. I mean, we’re grown men. You can disagree and that’s fine. We don’t hate each other; there’s no hate, no love lost or anything between us, and we’re still the same. [We’ve talked] in different ways, a little bit, like in his office and stuff, but what I said Monday night … I mean, it’s frustration. I’m sick of losing. I’m not a loser; this team’s not losers. We’re a good team, we’ve got a lot of talent, we just need to put it together.”
Clarification: the quality of his teammates.
(This one continued to fluctuate.)
A MONTH AGO: “This is one of the most talented teams I’ve been on,and just not to get it done is … I dunno, shocking.”
AFTER THE GIANTS GAME: “I don’t think this team is really that bad. I mean, the score, the record, it’d say that we’re horrible, that we don’t know how to play football. But I’ve been around these guys a lot and I think they know how to play football, I just think we’re all goin’ different directions and we need somebody to lead us in the right direction.”
THIS EVENING: “We’ve got a great nucleus around here. We just gotta get the key components to make it right. I don’t think [new General Manager Bruce Allen is] thinking that we have to just blow up this team and start from ground zero. I don’t think he would be thinking that because we do have a lot of great players here.”
(But, he added in response to a follow-up question, “I don’t know what those components are; I’m just a football player.”)
Clarification: on if he’s glad he’s a Washington Redskin.
AFTER THE GIANTS GAME: “Ummm…. Yeah. I mean … yeah. I like the guys here and stuff, and [owner Dan Snyder]’s been great and everything, but…. You know, in this season right now, it makes it hard to say, ‘Do I really appreciate being here,’ but I know this is a great organization, and we can always bounce back from this.”
(The hesitation at the beginning of that one was the damning part, not the actual content of his statement. This week, he answered without any hesitation at all, although the content was a bit less enthusastic.)
THIS EVENING: “No, I’m not sorry that I came here. I mean, this place … it was between here and Tampa, so you tell me.”
Haynesworth also directly addressed his comments from Monday night, focusing on what prompted them at that specific moment:
“Just frustration,” he said. “Being, what are we, 4-11 now? Or 4-10 at that point. I was frustrated, and I’m a competitor, I wanna win. No matter, whatever I do I wanna win. I mean, like in the offseason, as far as boats and stuff like that, I gotta have the fastest boat. I gotta have the fastest car, which got me in trouble a few times, but…. I always wanna win at whatever I do, so, y’know, same thing with football. This is my livelihood, I’m very competitive, and I definitely hate to lose no matter what.”
That, if nothing else, has become completely clear. Albert Haynesworth really, really hates to lose, no matter what.
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