After playing almost all of the Redskins’ final preseason game, defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth declined to talk to reporters about his role on the team heading into the regular season.
But while Haynesworth isn’t talking, a few members of the Redskins organization have anonymously ripped Haynesworth in interviews with Jason Reid of the Washington Post.
Reid quoted two of the team sources who recently reviewed game film as saying Haynesworth was “awful” during Thursday’s game. The sources told Reid that Haynesworth didn’t look like he was playing hard most of the time, and when he was playing hard, he was doing his own thing rather than playing the role he’s supposed to play in the Redskins’ defense.
And according to “three people familiar with the situation,” Haynesworth’s performance was bad enough that it could affect his status for the Redskins’ Week One game against the Cowboys.
Reid also reported that Redskins coach Mike Shanahan has lost his patience with Haynesworth, and that Haynesworth didn’t do much of anything in today’s practice.
Of course, if Haynesworth is playing as badly as these anonymous Redskins sources say he is, the Redskins are free to cut him. They haven’t done that, so Shanahan obviously still thinks Haynesworth is one of his 53 best players, even if his staff is ripping Haynesworth under cover of anonymity.
As to the larger issue of Haynesworth and his role on the Redskins, it’s clear that this is not a healthy relationship. It might feel good to some in the Redskins organization to anonymously vent their feelings to a reporter, but if the Redskins are going to keep Haynesworth on the roster, it may be time for them to accept him as a member of the team, and stop taking every opportunity to trash him.