Jim Haslett Takes Turn Criticizing Albert Haynesworth's Work Ethic, Maturity
So Haslett spent more than four months walking a tightrope between the boss, who hired him to install the 3-4 defense, and the player, who adamantly objected to being a part of it.
Thursday, Haslett took off the gloves and said what he really thought of Haynesworth, one of the world's richest and laziest football players.
"I saw a guy who just got $100 million play bad as a three-technique," Haslett said of watching Haynesworth on tape after coming to Washington in January. "Then ... a defensive coordinator (Greg Blache) left, I saw a guy who blasted him, saying, 'Well, I didn't like the defense. I didn't like the way I was used.' So can you ever make the guy happy? I don't know. ...
"He wasn't happy this year with the 3-4. He wasn't happy last year with the 4-3. What else do you want to do? Want to run a 2-5? ... I don't think I've ever had a player tell me he didn't want to play (the base 3-4) and then later say he didn't want to play nickel versus the run, (saying) 'Just play me on third downs.' We tried to accommodate him. It's a shame because he's athletic enough. He can do almost anything he wants. Obviously, he didn't want to do it."
Haslett, not surprisingly backed Shanahan's decision to declare Haynesworth inactive for last Sunday's critical NFC East game at New York, one in which the Giants pounded the Redskins 31-7.
"I think Mike made the right decision to make him inactive," Haslett said. "We know over the years, based off what we saw last year in film, when he doesn't practice well or he doesn't show up for Christmas -- -- whatever the situation is -- then he doesn't play well. ...
"If the guy's not willing to do what you want (him) to do and you're the head coach, and the guy doesn't practice well on Thursday -- about as poor as I've ever seen -- and then Friday, (he has) a so-called illness (so) that he doesn't practice, then, if I'm the head coach, (I've) got to make a decision: What's best for the football club?"
As for the 29-year-old Haynesworth's future, Haslett said the big man has to mature if he wants to keep playing in the NFL.
"Do I still like Albert?," Haslett said. "Yeah, I really like the guy. But sooner or later ... he's going to have to grow up and understand what's going on. ... My father told me, 'There's things in the world that you're not going to want to do, but if you want to get ahead in the world, you're going to have to do it.' Well, I think we're at that point (with Albert). Not everybody in the National Football League is going to let Albert just do what he wants on the field. It doesn't work that way."
Work is not something that Haynesworth prefers, especially once he had pocketed more than $30 million from the Redskins in less than a year and half, before he even reported for training camp in July after skipping the entire offseason program -- including the mandatory minicamp -- because he didn't want any part of the 3-4.
And now his coaches don't want any part of him.