It has always been easy to go for the fat joke with disgruntled Redskins defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth. His name, for examples, historically pairs well with the antecedent “Fat”. He is, in fact, a large man. Combine those two facts with the number of plays in 2009 that ended with him lying on the field, and it was all-too-short a route to fat jokes and lazy jokes and so on.
Then he goes and doesn’t show up for voluntary team activities, doesn’t show up for mandatory team activities, and it’s very easy to combine a little from column A with a little from column B and reach the conclusion that Haynesworth has spent the offseason hiding out somewhere drinking YooHoo through a funnel while stuffing his face with Moon Pies.
Not so fast, says Rich Campbell, Redskins beat writer for the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg. Campbell interviewed with Haynesworth’s trainer in Tennessee, and came away sounding somewhat startled. Writes Campbell:
Tripp Smith, Haynesworth’s personal trainer, said in a phone interview yesterday that Haynesworth has lost 32 pounds since they began their workout regimen on April 5. He said that Haynesworth is committed to getting in top physical shape–albeit away from Redskins Park–for the start of training camp on July 29.
“I think he’s going to open some eyes when he gets to camp,” Smith said.
There’s much, much more in the article, and Campbell posted some leftover quotes on his blog. Like this one:
The program “is just a little more polished and refined now,” Smith continued. “He knows me and I know him, and he gives me feedback. Therefore, I can better custom-tailor that program to him. At this point this year, I think condition-wise I think he’s in the same place he has been in the past. I think he’s ready to go to camp. As far as the little things, I think he’s a lot better this year.
“His hands are going to be a lot better this year than they were in the past. He’s going to have a lot more upper body explosiveness and moves that he can use that he may not have taken advantage of in the past.”
But the money quote, the big question, the most crucial takeaway from the whole interview, is the one that Campbell uses to close both his article and his blog post:
“I told him, ‘If you show up and are playing like an animal, they’re going to forget about the fact that you didn’t go to a two-day minicamp or whatever happened aside from football,'” Smith said. “We need to make sure we do what we need to do to basically blow people’s heads off with what we’ve accomplished this summer. I think we’re well on our way to it.”
Based on the email I’ve been receiving all offseason — all those easy Fat Albert jokes — I’m skeptical. In just fifteen days, we’ll have a much better idea.
Tags: albert haynesworth, links, Media, Offseason
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