Correcting Albert Haynesworth

Last night the New York Giants looked like the 5-0 team I remember from the beginning of this season!

The New York Giants dominated the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field on Monday Night Football. On the national stage, the Redskins never looked threatening, with zero signs of life until the later part of the 2nd quarter.

After the game, the well-paid Defensive Tackle Albert Haynesworth donated his two cents: “I don’t think really this team is that bad. The players ain’t that bad,” said Haynesworth. “The score, the record, [they] say that we’re horrible, that we don’t know how to play football. But I’ve been around these guys a lot and I think they know how to play football.”

This statement could stand some correction. The team may not be that bad. The players may not be that bad. However, the score of the game last night was horrible for them. The record of 4-10 is below average, and may prompt many to doubt that the team knows how to play football in the sense that YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME! But he’s been around those guys a lot and he thinks they know something we don’t know about them.

Haynesworth’s comments would have made a lot more sense after the Redskins pushed the then undefeated New Orleans Saints to overtime in Week 13. But after a brutal beating on the big stage, Haynesworth’s feelings were in the worst context for an attempted injection of faith.

He concluded his motivation speech by saying, “I think we’re just all going in different directions, and we need somebody to lead us in the right direction.” Nothing like blaming the coaches when you are the highest paid player. For $100 million dollars, maybe the Redskins expected leadership instead of finger-pointing. Haynesworth threw the coaching staff under the bus, which is at least figurative, and not the literally stomping on their heads.

The cool trend in the NFL is for players and teams to act like politicians. Asked whether that leadership needed to come from coaches or players, Haynesworth said, “I’m going to leave that up to you. You can take it however you want to.” Well, you just said that you think the players are good. Just because Haynesworth didn’t spell out “Jim Zorn sucks”, doesn’t mean we don’t see the picture that was painted.

Why even bother ragging on head coach Jim Zorn? Even though Washington hasn’t spelled it out, Zorn has been all but officially fired for weeks now. The team is now just embarrassing Zorn by allowing him to lead the Redskins to a higher draft pick.

Albert Haynesworth conveniently did not make any remark about his unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in the 4th quarter. Perhaps because at this point that behavior is expected from the heavyweight.

The NFL expected the Redskins to be good. The team hosted two Monday Night Football games this season and will host the Cowboys for Sunday Night Football next week. Whoever planned that will be joining the already crowded unemployment list. But at least they can be comforted by the fact that the Redskins team this year isn’t “that bad.”

Also posted on National Lampoon’s Splog, Empire Sports Now , and on Player Press

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