Redskins defensive lineman Vonnie Holliday happened to be at the ESPN studios Tuesday when the Albert Haynesworth suspension news broke.
We don’t know whether Holliday was there laying some groundwork for possible future employment, but he showed a deft media touch presenting both sides of the suspension to Trey Wingo on NFL Live.
Holliday spoke with Haynesworth Tuesday and said Big Al was “shocked” by the decision. He was told the reason he was suspended was that he refused to play in the 3-4 defense, which Haynesworth didn’t feel was the case. (The Redskins indicated other reasons in their statement, though.)
Holliday said finding out on Sunday morning that Haynesworth would be inactive “was a tough pill to swallow” and a “distraction.”
While those statements could be viewed as player-friendly, Holliday spoke honestly about Haynesworth’s shortcomings.
“In the NFL as a player, you want to be respected by your teammates. That’s all you can ask for,” Holliday said. “And right now, he doesn’t have that respect because a lot of times it seems like he’s playing for himself. He doesn’t buy into the team concept.”
Holliday went on to say what a tough position Haynesworth has consistently put coach Mike Shanahan in.
Perhaps these words, even more than the suspension, could be a wakeup call for Haynesworth. Although we doubt it.