SportsNation Blog ArchivesSN Blog Archives Albert Haynesworth

Back when Albert Haynesowrth was auditioning for teams in advance of the 2002 NFL draft, the big defensive lineman covered 40 yards in 4.82 seconds. Not quite gazelle-like speed, perhaps, but plenty good enough to put your average couch potato to shame. Speed ahead about eight years and Haynesworth came up 300 yards short of satisfying Mike Shanahan's need for speed on the big guy's first day of Redskins training camp -- and then flunked again Friday morning.

Survey the conversation about all of this and you find more than a few people wondering if Shanahan is trying too hard to make a point. But speaking for what appears to be the majority, commenter I Am Ahab offers a different take.

Nobody is reporting exactly how slow Haynesworth is being clocked on the sundial, but how many residents of SportsNation think they could take him over 300 yards?

Steve (Bristol)

So now that the Redskins have a veteran QB and a much better offensive line, are you giving them any chance of making the playoffs? Or at least winning some division games this year?

Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson
Matt Williamson

The QB position is obviously huge, but I don't see an improved OL at all. Still see a 5 win team. Full transcript

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At least we know what defense Albert Haynesworth won't use if we ever play him in Madden. The world's biggest critic of 3-4 defenses -- especially those with him in the middle of that first number -- Haynesworth is making a bid to replace Gilbert Arenas as D.C.'s most shunned millionaire.

And while it doesn't help when teammates are publicly calling you "selfish" and your coach is talking about the $21 million you took this spring under the guise of playing along with the new scheme, is there a chance -- just a chance -- that Haynesworth has a point? If he received assurances he wouldn't have to play the 3-4 when he signed last year, is he entitled to both his money and a bit of grumpiness about his new lot in life? At least one SportsNation blogger thinks so.

Fat Albert (D.C. )

Would you trade for Albert Haynesworth? What would you give for him?

Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson
Matt Williamson

Well, first off, I am not positive where the best destination is for him. I REALLY like him as a player though. Still. Many seem to think that he isn't nearly the player he was in Tennessee, but I disagree. I think he can be dominant again -- immediately ... but in a 4-3. How many teams are running that scheme now? Not all that many and most really don't have a massive DT need. Still, if I am Tenn for example, I give up a third-round pick in a heart beat. Full transcript

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A year ago, Albert Haynesworth was the biggest thing to hit the D.C. sports scene in a long time -- literally, financially and figuratively. Considered by more than a few the NFL's most dominant defensive player after back-to-back All-Pro selections in 2007 and 2008, he inked a deal for $100 million (even if less than half was guaranteed). Now? Well, Gilbert Arenas is still around, so maybe he's not the biggest pariah on the city's sports scene, but he's in the race.

After a so-so debut season (to put it kindly), Haynesworth is reportedly not happy about the prospect of playing tackle in new coach Mike Shanahan's 3-4 defense. Haynesworth skipped voluntary workouts, which in turn made teammate Philip Daniels none too happy.

So has Haynesworth gone from one of the league's best to one of its biggest headaches? Or is he still one of the best and one of its biggest headaches?

Jake (Santa Clara)

Simply put is Patrick Willis the best defensive player in the NFL?

Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson
Matt Williamson

Wow. This isn't a knock on him AT ALL, but MLB is an easy position to showcase your skills...and there are plenty of excellent players at that position. I would tend to say someone like Ware or Revis is the best D player on the planet right now. Full transcript

mesomorphicman

As for Haynesworth, he's a bum who doesn't like to work hard - everyone knew it when the Titans dumped him... the Skins got suckered (yet again!) and are getting what they paid for.

-- mesomorphicman
vy4life

What a bum. They pay you $100 million, you have to do what they say, period. Who cares if he doesn't want to play nose tackle, it's not like it is a contract year for him and he needs to put up big numbers to get a contract. He already has the deal, just go do your job.

-- VY4life

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When a player who signed for $41 million in guaranteed money earlier in the year is sitting out practices and talking about normal "wear and tear" during the first week of August, well, it's not the kind of thing that will help comparisons to Reggie White. But Albert Haynesworth returned to practice earlier this week after sitting out a few rounds of training camp, averting the kind of health-care crisis that would capture D.C.'s attention more than anything on Capitol Hill.

Aside from Clinton Portis, Haynesworth is the player SportsNation feels the Redskins could least afford to lose to serious injury, no small feat of public recognition for a guy who plays on the defensive line. But if Haynesworth is the Redskins' best defensive player, is he the league's best defensive player? He's not a pure pass-rushing force like DeMarcus Ware, or a shut-down corner like Nnamdi Asomugha, but it's tough to put a guy who closes down the middle of the line anywhere other than No. 1.

galyssa427

Haynesworth is a Beast.. I don't know if I've seen one Person make such a diffeence on the defensive side of the ball, since Reggie White.

-- galyssa427
titans_freak23

you guys paid way to much for big al watch out he's going to get injuryed right away.

-- titans_freak23

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Chad Ochocinco is still a member of the Bengals, Anquan Boldin is still a member of the Cardinals and Brett Favre is still indecisive. So not much has changed since last we left the NFL, right? Terrell Owens is in Bills camp talking about the unfairness of any further delay in Michael Vick's comeback? Right, so maybe not everything is right where we left it.

As incredibly wealthy people move into college dorm rooms across the country for the rite of passage that is training camp (or orientation at Sarah Lawrence College, take your pick), there are more than a few familiar faces in new places. Back in May, SportsNation gave the Eagles the highest marks for their offseason moves, but considering first-round pick Jeremy Maclin remains unsigned as camp approaches, they may not even be among the best shoppers in their own city if the Phillies find a way to tack on Roy Halladay on top of the Flyers adding Chris Pronger.

Offseason acquisitions are one topic on the agenda for today's "SportsNation" (4 p.m. ET, ESPN2), but how does your scorecard look for moves like the Redskins signing Albert Haynesworth and the Bears trading for Jay Cutler?

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