Albert Haynesworth rips into 'haters'
ASHBURN, Va. -- Even by Albert Haynesworth standards, it was quite a day. A teammate called him out, essentially for being selfish. He got publicly summoned to the coach's office. A television report suggested he appeared "hung over" at practice last week.
Then, late in the day, the Washington Redskins defensive lineman had his own say. Appearing on a radio station, Haynesworth blamed the report on "haters" that don't like him, said he's too upset to meet with coach Mike Shanahan on Tuesday, and again proclaimed he could be the greatest ever if he could play the way he wants to play.
All you've got to do is take off the dadgum leash and let me loose and you will see how great I am. ... I want to play football; that's what I want to do. Let me be great at it. Let me accomplish my goals. I want to be the best defense tackle to ever play this game.” -- Albert Haynesworth
"I believe there's some kind of haters in the organization, that they don't like me," Haynesworth said on 106.7 The Fan. "I don't know if it's players, I don't know if it's coaches, I don't know who it is. Obviously somebody who doesn't like me, which is fine. But when you go out there and start making up lies, then, yeah, I've got something to say."
Haynesworth was inactive for Sunday's game against the New York Giants. He said coaches told him it was because he didn't have a good practice on Thursday and was limited at Friday's practice because of an illness, and was late for a meeting. Comcast SportsNet reported that unnamed sources said Haynesworth appeared hung over on Friday after being out late Thursday.
"Yeah, I went out on Thursday but left early because I wasn't feeling good and went home," Haynesworth said. "And then they want to sit here and say I was hung over and drunk and something like that? ... For these people to make up lies to try to make me look bad, it's ridiculous."
No matter how it's labeled, the Redskins have a Haynesworth headache that won't go away, even in December with Washington (5-7) essentially out of the playoff picture and morphing into wait'll-next-year mode.
Defensive end Phillip Daniels become emotional when speaking about Haynesworth earlier in the day.
"I've been through 15 seasons and I ain't won (anything). So what I'm saying is if I can come out here and do this, don't tell me that you can't do it," Daniels said. "I want every guy on this team to do well. I want you to realize that if you ain't all in, you don't need to be here."
Daniels said the distractions involving Haynesworth are "not healthy" for the team and that it "drags you down." He called Haynesworth a "great person" who "tries for the most part to fit in," but Daniels also cited a slogan from college -- "Big team, little me" -- and said that's the part Haynesworth doesn't get.
"That's what I go out there and play for every day -- my teammates," Daniels said. "And I think that's the part of the game that really skipped by him."
In defending himself, Haynesworth seemed to actually confirm what Daniels was saying, speaking disproportionately about personal goals rather than team goals. He also referenced how he was used in Tennessee before signing with the Redskins last year.
"Everybody's saying I'm not committed. I'm committed. I'm out here to play. I always play hard. I play hurt. I mean I'll blow out something before I quit playing," Haynesworth said.
"They pay me this money: Let me play like I played in Tennessee. I will show you. I made a lot of plays in Tennessee; I can do the same thing here. All you've got to do is take off the dadgum leash and let me loose and you will see how great I am. ... I want to play football; that's what I want to do. Let me be great at it. Let me accomplish my goals. I want to be the best defense tackle to ever play this game."
Haynesworth conceded he was "a minute late" for an 8 a.m. meeting Friday and perhaps didn't have the best of practices the day before.
"If I didn't have a good practice, sue me," he said. "Everybody doesn't go out and have a great practice every day. But that doesn't mean I can't play on Sunday."
Shanahan said he plans to meet with Haynesworth and won't discuss anything about the matter until the meeting has taken place. The coach declined to say whether Haynesworth will remain on the roster for the rest of the season.
"I think it's fair for me to talk to him before I talk to you," Shanahan told reporters.
Haynesworth said the meeting will have to wait until Wednesday.
"I'm not going into the office tomorrow," he said Monday. "I'm still heated over this. I just got sick of it."
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press