It started with Jim Zorn sending Albert Haynesworth home early from practice yesterday, after the star defensive tackle reportedly was late for a team meeting on Christmas Day. And then it got really interesting.
Just hours after being told to leave the team's training facility, Haynesworth told the Washington Post that he couldn't survive another season with the Redskins unless the defensive system he was playing under defensive coordinator Greg Blache was scrapped before next season.
Haynesworth told the paper he feared that team owner Daniel Snyder's investment in him would be wasted unless he were given more freedom in the scheme, the way he was in his first seven seasons with the Titans.
"If they keep this system the way it is, then they would label Albert Haynesworth a bust who didn't live up to the contract," Haynesworth said. "Everybody would say he just took the money and ran off. And I'm still playing as hard as I possibly can. But you can only do so much within the system that's put around you. And I'm not talking about the players. The players have been great. I couldn't ask for any better guys. I'm talking about the system. And [the coaches] can say whatever they want about that [the reason he was sent home Friday]. The main thing it's coming from is what I said after the game about leadership and about the team."
After being routed by the Giants 45-12 on Monday night, Haynesworth questioned his role and said the Redskins lack leadership. He was fined $10,000 for a second-half skirmish with Giants running back Brandon Jacobs.
According to the Post, Haynesworth had several closed-door sessions with Blache about the direction of the defense, and offered ideas about how tings might change. Haynesworth said Blache was not receptive.
"What made me do this [criticize the team's leadership and defensive scheme after the last game] is . . . he tells me, 'Get out of my face,' " Haynesworth said of Blache. "When I go up to him in the game it's like, 'Hey, we need to do this because this will help.' He tells me, 'Get out of my face. Go sit down. Go sit down.' Like I'm a kid or something like that. That's when I said what I said after the game. That's what made me respond the way that I did."
More Haynesworth: "They don't want to take input. They don't," Haynesworth said. "[Blache] . . . doesn't want to change. I mean, I'm watching film, it's like, 'Dude, this day and age, you get killed the way that we're running stuff.' And we've got way more talent [than the Titans]."