Tensions have been mounting in Washington D.C. The Mike Shanahan era has barely begun, but trouble is in the air. Albert Haynesworth and Coach Mike Shanahan are off to the worst of starts in DC. I am not sure if the big fella will ever step foot on the field. And I am not sure this would upset Coach Shanahan too much. Haynesworth skipped out on all workouts leading up to training camp. He whined to the media about the move to the 3-4 defensive scheme. He signed a 21 million dollar bonus in April. And he has been unable to pass the conditioning test in order to practice. Mike Golic, passed this test for crying out loud! You think Golic is in playing shape these days?
So lets take a look at the tale of the tape:
Albert Haynesworth: The big fella comes in at 6 foot 6, 350 pounds. He is large and in charge. Haynesworth spent 7 years on the Titans after starring at the University of Tennessee. It was a match made in heaven. He was consistently solid for the Titans until he had one major breakout season in 2008. This is what led to the big time pay-day in Washington. I mean he has made 2 Pro Bowls in 8 seasons in the League. He also has been involved in 2 major incidents on the field. For those of you who do not remember the infamous “stomping incident” of Cowboy’s center, Andre Gurode. This was just straight dirty. He also had a real bad unnecessary roughness penalty called against him in 2007 for a ridiculous body slam after the whistle on Maurice Jones-Drew. So these anger management issues could be something that Mike Shanahan needs to be aware of. But the guy could help the team win some ball games nonetheless.
Mike Shanahan: The new Redskin’s coach Mike Shanahan is a little bit smaller than the Redskins star defensive player. And by a little bit, I mean a lot smaller. He had, a weak and short-lived tenure with the LA Raiders. Then he had an outstanding tenure in Denver. But since 2005, he really has not made much noise. Many people say that he has stunk since the Elway retirement. This statement is entirely false in that he has made 4 playoff appearances since Elway retired on top of the game. But, he really has struggled since 2005. Maybe the hiatus from last year could help him clear his head and get back to his old winning ways? Coach Shanahan has always been known to produce an outstanding rushing game and a solid defense on his past teams. Normally his lines on both side of the ball dominate. He has also been known to show some rage at times and maybe would be able to keep up with the intensity of Albert. Either way, he needs to have the respect of all of his players in order to build a winner in Washington.
I just know this is an awful situation in the capital city. Mike Shanahan is trying to start a new era in Washington and bring back the winning mentality he had in Denver in the late 90s. His highest paid player is not seeing eye to eye with him. This will lead to some major issues on any team when the highest paid player and the coach do not get along. But with Dan Snyder in the owner’s box, anything can happen. Can this relationship be mended? Who knows?
After round 1 in this royal rumble, I would call the fight a draw. Neither Shanahan nor Haynesworth is getting what they want out of this. The winner has to be Mike Golic at this point. It will be interesting to see how this conflict affects the outcome of the Redskin’s inaugural season under Shanahan.
Generally neither the coach nor player wins out in a situation like this. The best player has a rough year and the team generally struggles with the turmoil and underperforms. So neither Shanahan or Haynesworth will end up happy if this plays out the way it appears to be headed.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.