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 Friday.
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, in 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 in February – would be wasted unless he again is given freedom to “create havoc” as he did in his seven seasons with the Tennessee Titans.
The Redskins will complete preparations today for Sunday night’s nationally televised game against the Dallas Cowboys. Haynesworth’ status for the team’s 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 the 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.
Fine goes to YMCA
Dunta Robinson’s shoe escapade has turned into a $25,000 boost for a facility that will serve underprivileged children.
The Houston Texans cornerback was fined that amount for wearing shoes during the season opener that carried a message directed at general manager Rick Smith: It said, “pay me Rick.”
Robinson was upset he and the Texans were unable to reach a long-term contract and skipped training camp before signing.
After writing letters to Smith, owner Bob McNair and coach Gary Kubiak, Robinson was allowed to donate the fine this week toward the construction of a Houston Texans YMCA that will benefit kids in some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods.
“It’s a great way to make a negative situation into a positive,” Robinson said.
Panthers backs hurting
Carolina running back DeAngelo Williams is doubtful for Sunday’s game against the Giants after missing his third consecutive practice with a sprained left ankle.
Reserve running back Tyrell Sutton is also doubtful after sitting out with a calf injury.
Running back Jonathan Stewart, the former Timberline High and University of Oregon star, is questionable with a sore left Achilles’ tendon, but practiced Friday.
New England Patriots running back Fred Taylor is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against his former team, the Jacksonville Jaguars. Taylor has missed the past 10 games with an ankle injury. He participated fully in practices Wednesday and Thursday and on a limited basis Friday. … Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was limited in practice and his availability for Sunday’s game in Atlanta will be a game-time decision. … Wide receiver Eddie Royal (neck, hand) will not play for Denver against Philadelphia. … Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo still hasn’t picked a starting quarterback for St. Louis’ game at Arizona on Sunday. Rookie Keith Null started the past two games — the first when Kyle Boller was sidelined by a thigh injury, and the second after Boller had flulike symptoms for several days. Boller returned to practice this week, but Spagnuolo has yet to tip his hand. … Eagles backup quarterback Michael Vick missed practice (quadriceps bruise).