O'Halloran: Haslett takes aim at Albert

O'Halloran: Haslett takes aim at Albert
December 9, 2010, 10:55 pm
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Thursday, December 9, 2010, 5:53 p.m.

By Ryan O'Halloran
Staff writer


Echoing Mike Shanahan from a day before, Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said he's never been in a situation quite like the one that resulted in Albert Haynesworth being suspended four games without pay for detrimental conduct.

"I don't think I've ever had a player tell me he didn't want to play the 'Okie' 3-4 defense and then later say he didn't want to play nickel against the run," Haslett said after practice Thursday.

The Redskins went through their second practice without Haynesworth and it doesn't appear much will change.

"We go on like normal," Haslett said. "We had to make some adjustments to the depth chart, but everything else is status quo. We're going to use a number of different combinations on third down and that's really all he played."

That was the first of many zingers lobbed by Haslett, who acquiesced to Haynesworth's request to not be used at nose tackle in the base personnel, further limiting his playing time.

"We tried to accommodate him," Haslett said. "It's a shame because he's athletic enough and he can do most anything he wants. Obviously, he didn't want to do it. Good athletes can do a lot of different things - in basketball, guards can play forward and I watch throughout the league receivers doing the 'Wildcat' and I think to myself, 'If you're a good enough athlete, you can do anything you want. You just got to want to do it.'"

Haslett said he wasn't consulted - not really, he said - before Haynesworth was suspended, but did speak with Shanahan on Saturday night about deactivating him for the Giants game.

"I told him my thoughts from a defensive coordinator's perspective and if I was in his seat, what I would have thought," he said. "If I'm the head coach on Saturday night and getting ready for Sunday, you have to make a decision that's best for the team. Mike made the right decision."

Haslett called Haynesworth's performance during last Thursday's practice "about as poor as I've ever seen," and that "a so-called illness" kept him off the field Friday.

"Last Thursday, we had one guy who didn't practice hard, didn't run to the ball, didn't do what we asked him to do," he said. "That's what started this whole thing."

Here are other highlights from Haslett on Haynesworth:

He said Haynesworth has to learn how to compromise better. "Not everybody in the NFL is going to let Albert do what he wants on the field," Haslett said. "It doesn't work out that way. There has to be some give by Haynesworth and take, more give than take because the other side has been giving a lot."

Haslett wasn't impressed with Haynesworth's play last year.

"Last year I got here and the first thing I did was watch all the tapes," he said. "I saw a guy who just got 100 million play bad as a three-technique tackle and then the defensive coordinator Greg Blache leaves, I see a guy who blasted him saying he didn't like the defense, didn't like the 4-3, didn't like how he was used. Can you ever make the guy happy? I don't know."

Haslett hasn't reached out to Haynesworth yet. "I don't think it's right I talk to him right now," he said. "At some point, I would like to talk to him because he's still a part of this football team. Do I still like Albert? Yeah, I really like the guy. Sooner or later, he has to grow up and understand what's going on."

And on Haynesworth's overall grumpiness about the 3-4 scheme: "He wasn't happy this year with the 3-4, wasn't happy last year with the 4-3. What else do you want to do? Run the 2-5?"

Contact Ryan at rohalloran@comcastsportsnet.com