WPost.com: Haynesworth sounds off on Blanche, being sent home

Discussion in 'NFL Zone' started by SaltwaterServr, Dec 26, 2009.

  1. SaltwaterServr

    SaltwaterServr Blank Paper Offends Me

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    Frustrated with losing and what he says is the unwillingness of defensive coordinator Greg Blache to embrace change, Washington Redskins defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth could not "survive another season in this system if it stays the way it is," Haynesworth said late Friday afternoon.

    In a lengthy phone interview shortly after he was sent home from practice by Coach Jim Zorn for disciplinary reasons, Haynesworth for the first time discussed his poor relationship with Blache and provided his most detailed explanation yet about the flaws, in his opinion, of Blache's disciplined scheme, which has helped the Redskins rank ninth overall in defense. Haynesworth expressed fear that owner Daniel Snyder's major investment in him -- the Redskins guaranteed Haynesworth $41 million in signing him this past February -- would be wasted unless he again is given freedom to "create havoc" as he did in his first seven seasons with the Tennessee Titans.

    On Saturday, the Redskins will complete preparations for Sunday night's nationally televised game against the Dallas Cowboys. Haynesworth's status for the FedEx Field season finale, however, is unclear after the latest incident in one of the most disappointing seasons in franchise history.

    "If they keep this system the way it is, then they would label Albert Haynesworth a bust who didn't live up to the contract," Haynesworth said. "Everybody would say he just took the money and ran off. And I'm still playing as hard as I possibly can. But you can only do so much within the system that's put around you. And I'm not talking about the players. The players have been great. I couldn't ask for any better guys. I'm talking about the system. And [the coaches] can say whatever they want about that [the reason he was sent home Friday]. The main thing it's coming from is what I said after the game about leadership and about the team."

    After an embarrassing 45-12 loss to the New York Giants on Monday, Haynesworth questioned his role and said the team lacks leadership. Haynesworth, fined $10,000 after trading blows with Giants running back Brandon Jacobs during the game, made it clear he does not believe the style Blache has asked him to play in Washington suits him.

    Asked directly whether those comments contributed to Friday's incident, Zorn immediately replied, "Not at all."

    "Honestly, this was just something that happened just today," Zorn said after the practice session. "I think it's not unique to me. It happens around the NFL, and I see [these things] handled all the time. And hopefully I'm handling things in the proper way."

    Zorn declined to specify the nature of Haynesworth's violation, but Haynesworth reported late for a team meeting on Christmas morning, multiple team sources said. He was told not to attend practice because of his tardiness, three sources said, but he walked out to the practice field anyway.

    Haynesworth and Zorn had an animated conversation for about 10 minutes, during the portion of practice the media is allowed to watch, while players stretched. Blache eventually joined them; Zorn said Blache was alerting him that practice was beginning. Moments later, Haynesworth walked back into the facility, and soon left Redskins Park.

    "I sent Albert home, just for disciplinary reasons," Zorn said. "I think that all that will be kept between Albert and I. He wasn't belligerent or nasty to me, and I was not nasty to him. It was just something that needed to be done. It's just between us and our football team, and I hope it stays that way."

    Haynesworth acknowledged he was "about 20 minutes late getting to the meeting. I was late. I'll pay the fine. The thing that doesn't make any sense to me, they're talking about disciplinary action because I was 20 minutes late? I'm not going to throw anybody under the bus, but I've seen guys two hours late, show up right before practice on a normal day, and they get to do everything and [the coaches] just respond with, 'Whatever.' This is like the second time I've ever been late. In the preseason, I fell asleep and was like a couple of minutes late for a meeting. This is the second time I've ever been late for a meeting and I get sent home."

    Haynesworth believes that Zorn used his tardiness as an excuse to discipline him because of the coaching staff's anger about his recent biting postgame comments. "They're all against me or whatever," he said. "But I know what I'm saying is right because I've been in a scheme that works."

    In Washington's scheme, interior linemen, for the most part, are required to maintain their gap responsibility while occupying blockers in an effort to help linebackers make plays. And linemen are not permitted to rush as much as Haynesworth would prefer. "What [team officials] told me in the early hours of February [27] is that, 'We're going to let you play,' " Haynesworth said of Washington's sales pitch on the first day of free agency.

    "We're going to change the scheme up, make it around you. We want you to do what you do. They might have changed a little bit [but] they don't let me rush. They call what Blache calls 'Hot,' a basic pass rush, maybe a few times a game. And half the time that's changed because of some formation. I disagree with their whole scheme."

    Several times, Haynesworth has initiated closed-door discussions with Blache about the system, offering ideas on how the team might be more productive, people in the organization familiar with Haynesworth's actions said. But Blache has not been receptive, and the situation reached a boiling point in the last game.

    "What made me do this [criticize the team's leadership and defensive scheme after the last game] is . . . he tells me, 'Get out of my face,' " Haynesworth said of Blache. "When I go up to him in the game it's like, 'Hey, we need to do this because this will help.' He tells me, 'Get out of my face. Go sit down. Go sit down.' Like I'm a kid or something like that. That's when I said what I said after the game. That's what made me respond the way that I did."

    Blache is in his 22nd season in the NFL and sixth with the Redskins. Widely regarded as one of the league's top defensive minds, he has helped Washington's defense to four top-10 finishes. He has not spoken to the media since Oct. 8.

    Haynesworth, though, is not the first high-profile player to feel constricted in his system. Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Taylor was unhappy playing for Blache in 2008, his only season with the team, people within the organization said, and there has been grumbling in the locker room this season about Blache's approach.

    "They don't want to take input. They don't," Haynesworth said. "[Blache] . . . doesn't want to change. I mean, I'm watching film, it's like, 'Dude, this day and age, you get killed the way that we're running stuff.' And we've got way more talent [than the Titans].

    "We got great corners and safeties here that can play if they were used right. They make a million checks before the ball is snapped. Guys are sitting there thinking instead of reacting. Guys are sitting there thinking instead of playing. When you're sitting there thinking about what you're going to do when you're trying to run, you don't go as fast. When it's natural and it comes to you, you do it. You know? It's instinct. You know what I mean? What they want us to do is think and be robots. This is just ridiculous."

    In 14 games with the Titans in 2008, Haynesworth had a personal-best 8.5 sacks, was credited with 51 tackles, including 41 unassisted, and had three forced fumbles. An ankle injury has sidelined Haynesworth in three of Washington's last five games. He has 35 tackles, including 29 unassisted, four sacks and no forced fumbles in 11 games.

    "You brought me here to make us better and to create the havoc that I create. But you're not letting me do the things that we did" in Tennessee, Haynesworth said.

    Zorn said Haynesworth would return to practice Saturday and would be allowed to play Sunday, but that was news to Haynesworth. "I don't know," said Haynesworth, who is due a $21 million roster bonus in March.

    "I love the game and love to play, but it's up to them. They're the coaches. I don't know [if he would return to practice Saturday]. I guess, unless [Zorn] doesn't want me to be there. That's what he said today. He [didn't] want me to be there."
  2. Nav22

    Nav22 Well-Known Member

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    Another major distraction for Washington. Sweet.
  3. SaltwaterServr

    SaltwaterServr Blank Paper Offends Me

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    Dear Mike,

    We're warning you ahead of time of what you're getting into. 2010 Elway > 2010 Campbell


    J. Gibbs
    S. Spurrier
    J. Zorn
    N. Turner
    T. Robiskie
    M. Schottenheimer
  4. tunahelper

    tunahelper Well-Known Member

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    The staff will be gone next year and the players can smell blood.
  5. SaltwaterServr

    SaltwaterServr Blank Paper Offends Me

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    I think they see the pointer hovering over "proceed to checkout" on their flight reservations to the Caribbean, with their finger poised over the mouse button ready to strike.
  6. Beast_from_East

    Beast_from_East Well-Known Member

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    Man, if we lose to this mess it is going to be one of the worst losses in franchise history.

  7. stilltheguru

    stilltheguru Well-Known Member

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    You are correct sir. If we lose this game I have a proposition that would make most of the board members happy as hell.
  8. Beast_from_East

    Beast_from_East Well-Known Member

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    If we lose this game, we probably dont go to the playoffs. So what type of proposition would make most of the board happy as hell about not going to the playoffs???
  9. stilltheguru

    stilltheguru Well-Known Member

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    Giants won't beat Minnesota so dont you worry about that.
  10. CCBoy

    CCBoy Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't get too deep into explaining mental errors in the city of Washington...you just get into a logjam of dysfunction there. They will still show up for the game, and they seem to enjoy just trying to derail the Cowboys. Go figure dysfunction in coaching, ownership, a ton of overpaid and overrated players...who's only real function is trying to outdo the Cowboys instead.

    To think, being paid the most of any defensive player in the league by Washington, and playing for a top five defense...and Haynesworth is just being misunderstood. Only in Washington, LOL.:cool: Maybe he should hold out of practice until Lavar Aarington is brought back just to be not outdone by what Philadelphia did in it's interior linebacker position.
  11. Sarge

    Sarge Red, White and brew... Staff Member

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    This team is falling apart at the seems (if there are any seems left).

    I feel terribly for them...... :D
  12. Beast_from_East

    Beast_from_East Well-Known Member

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    What if they have nothing to play for and the Saints have homefield already???

    You think the Vikes B team with Tarvis Jackson would still beat the Giants???

    I am not as confident as you about that outcome.
  13. lkelly

    lkelly Well-Known Member

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    Skins need to patch up this relationship in the offseason before Albert sings to the press about the early free agent contact he had with the team.
  14. BIGDen

    BIGDen Dr. Freakasaurus

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    Yeah, I agree.
    I know the Skins always get up for us, "it's their SB" and all that, but I can't imagine their players staying late to watch extra film, practicing real hard, and playing with everything they've got this week. As long as we hit them first, it should knock whatever fight they have in them out right away. We go up by a couple of scores early and I can't see them reaching down and pulling this out against a better team, that is playing well, and needs the win.
    Anything's possible, but I think we take care of business this week.
  15. big dog cowboy

    big dog cowboy THE BIG DOG Staff Member

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    I'll bet this season just can't end soon enough for Zorn.
  16. Hostile

    Hostile The Duke

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    I feel kind of warm inside. Like I've just had a nice cup of hot chocolate.

  17. HoosierCowboy

    HoosierCowboy Put Pearson in the HOF

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    Zorn is a quality guy in a horible franchise--I'm shocked that things are so bad that even Haynesworth would be a problem. I mean really, you hire a jerk who had one great year and should not be surprised he shows his true colors.
  18. Yeagermeister

    Yeagermeister Active Member

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    One great year in a contract year.
  19. Mansta54

    Mansta54 Well-Known Member

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    Where's all of our fine Foreskin buddies who live on this site daily. It's Boyz week and they are GHOST. Just wondering where they are.
  20. newlander

    newlander Well-Known Member

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    FAT Albert, what a total unadulterated CLOWN..........glad they signed him....

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