The Redskins have made an ill-advised (so says the 10 worst moves of the offseason in the PFT Season Preview magazine) switch from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 front, and coach Mike Shanahan wants dominant-when-he-wants-to-be tackle Albert Haynesworth to take over the nose position in the new attack.
Haynesworth, as you may have heard, ain’t interested.
After skipping all of the offseason program but for the first day, Haynesworth has said he’ll be showing up for training camp, if only to avoid giving the team ammunition for coming after more than $20 million he has received in bonus money. And since a team’s nose tackle is usually an athletic guy who also happens to be big and fat, Haynesworth apparently has tried to make himself less attractive to the nose position by losing weight.
His trainer, Tripp Smith, tells Rich Campbell of Fredericksburg.com that Haynesworth has lost 32 pounds since April.
Listed at 350 by the team, he weighed 362 in April. He’s now down to 330.
“I think he’s going to open some eyes when he gets to camp,” Smith said.
“Albert, he’s the type of person that doesn’t want to disappoint
anybody, but he’s very business-minded,” Smith added. “I think it has motivated him
quite a bit, just seeing what his teammates are saying about him and
seeing what everybody in the press is saying about him.”
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Haynesworth is being criticized for a situation he created. So while he may want to use the natural fallout from his selfish actions to fuel to motivate himself to prove that we’re all wrong for pointing out that he’s selfish, we doubt that it’ll work. Haynesworth is motivated by one thing — money. And unless and until he’s in a position where his performance directly will lead to more of it, he’ll likely be just a guy.
Meanwhile, it sounds like he’s preparing for another season in the 4-3, and not for his first year in the 3-4, which mainly requires defensive linemen to tie up blockers and prevent them from moving out to the next level, which allows the linebackers to get to the ball.
“If he can have quicker and more powerful hands than the offensive
lineman, then he’s going to stand a much better chance of shedding
blocks, throwing guys off and getting a quicker punch to them,” Smith
So, basically, it sounds like Haynesworth plan involves becoming the best possible 4-3 defensive tackle, in the hopes of persuading the team to switch back from the 3-4 or to trade him to a team that uses his preferred defense.