Haynesworth rips Redskins' D scheme

Updated: December 27, 2009, 8:27 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Washington Redskins defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth has lashed out at his team's defensive game planning and the coordinator who oversees it.

Not long after Jim Zorn sent him home Friday for what the coach said were disciplinary reasons, Haynesworth told The Washington Post that he couldn't "survive another season in this system if it stays the way it is."

Haynesworth, who signed a seven-year, $100 million contract with Washington during the offseason, with $41 million in guaranteed money, pinned the blame firmly on defensive coordinator Greg Blache.

Haynesworth 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.

-- Redskins defensive tackle
Albert Haynesworth

"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 told the newspaper in a telephone interview. "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," Haynesworth said. "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."

On Thursday, Haynesworth was fined $10,000 by the NFL for an altercation with Giants running back Brandon Jacobs late in New York's 45-12 victory at Washington on Monday.

But Zorn said Friday's developments weren't related to the game incident and the resulting fine.

"They're all against me or whatever," Haynesworth told The Post. "But I know what I'm saying is right because I've been in a scheme that works."

Zorn said Friday that Haynesworth would still play Sunday night against the visiting Dallas Cowboys but might not start. However, The Post has reported that Haynesworth would start, citing unnamed sources in the organization familiar with the situation.

Haynesworth participated in a walk-through Saturday and worked with the first team, a source told ESPN.com's Matt Mosley.

Haynesworth's comments to the Washington newspaper followed critical barbs he directed at the Redskins' defense after the loss to the Giants. Haynesworth said he believed this is ultimately why he was sent home, despite the fact he said he was 20 minutes late for a Friday team meeting.

"I was late. I'll pay the fine," Haynesworth told The Post. "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.'

Haynesworth
Haynesworth

"This is like the second time I've ever been late," he added. "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 was one of the most sought-after free agents during the offseason. His signing was somewhat of a coup for Washington.

Haynesworth said the Redskins promised during their pitch to him that if he signed, they would tailor the defensive game planning around him.

"They might have changed a little bit [but] they don't let me rush," Haynesworth said. "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."

The loss to the Giants dropped the Redskins to 4-10 and didn't do much to help whatever slim chances Zorn had of returning next season.

After the game, Haynesworth sounded ready to cast a vote for someone else.

"I don't think really this team is that bad. The players ain't that bad," Haynesworth said Monday. "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. I think we're just all going in different directions, and we need somebody to lead us in the right direction."

Blache, in his sixth season with the Redskins and 22nd in the NFL, has not spoken to the media since Oct. 8, according to The Washington Post's report.

"We got great corners and safeties here that can play if they were used right," Haynesworth told The Post. "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."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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