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Monday, December 28: A Milder Albert Haynesworth

Posted by Matt Terl on December 28, 2009 – 1:19 am

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.
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Albert Haynesworth Spends Christmas At Home

Posted by Matt Terl on December 25, 2009 – 2:11 pm

The most interesting thing in practice today, at least from the portion I saw, actually took place before practice, when defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth and head coach Jim Zorn (pictured above in happier times) had a lengthy conversation. It didn’t look like a particularly joyous chat, but I also didn’t think it reached the level of — as David Elfin of the Washington Times wrote — “a heated discussion.” Either way, after the conversation ended, Haynesworth went back to the locker room and departed the facility.

Coach Zorn addressed the issue while talking to the media after practice. Read more »

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Tuesday, December 22: More Cheery Postgame Thoughts With Albert Haynesworth

Posted by Matt Terl on December 22, 2009 – 1:08 am

It was after the last Redskins Monday night game — also against a division rival, also a loss, also frustrating — that Albert Haynesworth came to the media with a message of despair and disappointment.

“I mean, this is one of the most talented teams I’ve been on,” he said at the time, “and just not to get it done is … I dunno, shocking. And whatever happened, you go out there and play hard and then nothing really happens, you don’t get a spark. I mean, the fans are losing interest — the more games we play, the fewer the fans come. It’s just gettin’ … it’s gettin’ bad. This bye week [is] comin’ at a good time right now. Maybe we can come back and come back as a new team.”

To the best of my knowledge he never revisited that idea during the post-bye games, but he more than made up for lost time after this one, and if this is a new Redskins team, Haynesworth does not seem to be of the opinion that it’s a better one.

“I don’t think this team is really that bad,” he said, which seems like a bit of a come-down from “one of the most talented teams I’ve been on.” He continued, “I don’t think the players are that bad. I dunno.”

A reporter asked him to define “not that bad,” and Haynesworth clarified with the obvious: “I mean, the score, the record, it’d say that we’re horrible, that we don’t know how to play football. But I 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.”

While “I think they know how to play football” still doesn’t sound a whole lot like “one of the most talented teams,” this returned to one of Haynesworth’s earlier points. Here he is back in October again: “If we just keep going our separate ways, then we’ll just keep getting slaughtered like we have.”

And he was right about that one, too. But after the Eagles game, that was about as far as Haynesworth was willing to go. This time, he pressed onward a bit. Read more »

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Albert Haynesworth Rides To School In Style

Posted by Matt Terl on November 10, 2009 – 7:47 pm

I wasn’t able to attend Albert Haynesworth‘s JCPenney United Way take-a-player-to-school event today, but the folks at Redskins.com TV were. What you get here is Haynesworth picking up his student-for-the-day Victor at his house and riding to school with him in a limo.

This is mildly amusing, of course, but it’s really significant because it actually shows some more of the human side of Haynesworth. He’s shown it a bit here and there — with the hand sanitizer, or the hazing of the rookies — but never quite so calmly. The Redskins Broadcast Network will have more of this later in the week, and there were other cameras onhand at the school, but I’m pretty sure this is the only place you’ll see Haynesworth sitting in the limo talking to a fifth-grade boy about his dating prospects.

http://p.castfire.com/GVrsz/video/189913/redskins_2009-11-10-164949.flv Read more »

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Notes After Practice: Another Week, Another Punter

Posted by Matt Terl on November 5, 2009 – 4:31 pm

Since I started working here, it feels like there’s been more player movement at punter than at any other position. And somehow it always brings the wackiness. From the early days of “Durant Brooks is a weapon” last season through Ryan Plackemeier — dubbed “Muffintop” by the Mr. I gang — to HunterGreatest Holder and Shoe Model and William the Bruce Impersonator and Christian Rocker of All Time” Smith and his former-bartender substitute, it’s been a pretty lively bunch. And that doesn’t even account for Shaun Suisham‘s brief, heroic turn at the position.

Well, the shuffling continued today, as Smith aggravated his groin injury and the team worked out (and plans to sign) Sam Paulescu to punt this week. Paulescu’s immediate claims to fame are leveling Tampa Bay’s Clifton Smith (in the video above) and helping to determine the height of the videoboard in the new Dallas stadium.

I’m sure we’ll find out other fascinating specifics when the guy officially signs on, likely tomorrow. Something to look forward to.

Other practice notes…. Read more »

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Redskins Talk Disappointment And Optimism Today

Posted by Matt Terl on November 4, 2009 – 6:08 pm


For obvious reasons, there were a lot of quotes coming out of the Redskins locker room today that dealt with owner Daniel Snyder’s statement yesterday that he feels disappointed and embarrassed with the first half of the season. That was not a surprise.

Santana Moss discusses the owner feeling disappointed:
“I think we all are. It’s not a good feeling to be who we are and where we are right now. We know it’s people out there that pay a lot of money and that respect what we’ve been trying to do, and you hate to let ’em down. But at the same time, I hope they understand that we’re not TRYING to, you know what I mean?” Read more »

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Tuesday, October 27: Albert Haynesworth's Inspirational Post-Game Quotes

Posted by Matt Terl on October 27, 2009 – 6:12 am

Albert Haynesworth is not exactly known for inspirational speeches. In fact, when the Redskins signed him this offseason, the main knocks against him were that he isn’t a big effort guy, he takes plays off, and he’s not exactly a leader.

Having watched him for about half a season now, I would completely disagree with the first assertion (he exerts tremendous effort), conditionally disagree with the second (exerting that effort does cause him to take himself out of the game), and the third … well, that’s complicated.

After last week’s loss to the Chiefs, Haynesworth gave a thundering locker room speech that seemed meant to inspire and terrify his teammates in equal measure. It wasn’t the classic motivational locker room oration, but it certainly displayed the kind of fire the Redskins are occasionally accused of lacking.

This week was … something of a different story. Read more »

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Thursday, October 22: Video Of Albert Haynesworth, Professional Sanitizer

Posted by Matt Terl on October 22, 2009 – 9:51 am


I wrote yesterday about Albert Haynesworth‘s new role as official hand sanitizer of the Washington Redskins, mainly because it was the most upbeat thing that’s happened here in about a month. Aside from a couple of grainy iPhone photos, though, that post wasn’t what you’d call a rich multimedia experience.

Fortunately for all of us, Comcast SportsNet had an extra camera at Redskins Park, so — while everyone else was paying attention to whatever head coach Jim Zorn was talking about — they were able to capture this riveting footage of Albert Haynesworth maintaining a secure perimeter against disease.

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Albert Haynesworth Takes Cleanliness Seriously

Posted by Matt Terl on October 21, 2009 – 3:45 pm

So there were quite a few guys missing from an unseasonably warm practice today: Chris Cooley, gone for family reasons. Cornelius Griffin, just getting “a little more rest,” according to head coach Jim Zorn. “He’s gonna be fine.”

Clinton Portis “did not practice,” Zorn said. “He’s got a sprained ankle.” Albert Haynesworth was out with a sprained ankle as well — Zorn said he expects both of them to play Monday — but Haynesworth found a new way to keep himself occupied after practice, because of the reason that Kareem Moore and Chris Horton were missing.

“Kareem and Chris Horton,” Zorn said, “they had a fever this morning. So instead of trying to get them through and have them be around the other players, we sent them home.” Zorn had also advised all the players to be especially careful about using hand sanitizer, especially in light of what happened in Cleveland.

So Haynesworth posted himself at the door after practice with a squeeze bottle of hand sanitizer, and proceeded to sanitize every staff member, coach, player, or media member who walked in, even chasing down people who tried to use other doors.

“Since I’m not at practice,” Haynesworth shrugged, “I’m the official building sanitizer.” I certainly didn’t see anyone willing to turn him down. Read more »

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Afternoon Practice – One More Hazing

Posted by Matt Terl on August 20, 2009 – 6:11 pm

Well, I’m glad I posted my enthusiastic defense of hazing this morning, since the high point of the afternoon practice was Albert Haynesworth, Phillip Daniels, and Cornelius Griffin — mainly Haynesworth — doing an incredibly thorough soak-and-tape on all the remaining rookies at once.

And, at this point, there’s little doubt that Haynesworth brings an element to this team that we haven’t seen in awhile.
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