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Shanahan: 'Albert was first class all the way'

Redskins coach explains the failed conditioning test Brad Biggs

Print This July 29, 2010, 07:33 PM EST

Albert Haynesworth was put through Mike Shanahan’s conditioning test before the Washington Redskins took to the practice field because he passed on the voluntary offseason program when he could have given, you know, ample proof of his conditioning to the coaching staff.

So while his teammates went through their first practice, Haynesworth worked on a treadmill inside Redskins Park, the team announced on its Web site. When Haynesworth will get another shot at the conditioning test – which he failed after needing a potty break midway through – is unknown but the best guess would be some time on Friday.

When the coach informed the player that he had flunked, there was no eruption, at least not according to Shanahan.

“There were no words,” Shanahan said. “Albert was first class all the way. He understood where I was coming from and understands that he's got to be at a certain level to go out on the field and practice with the rest of that football team. If he gets there then he'll be with us and if he doesn't, he won't.

“It's a basic conditioning test. We get a good idea if a guy is in shape. We put a lot of our linemen through it, offense and defense. We do it through our conditioning drills throughout the OTAs. It's a very fair test. But more importantly, it keeps a guy from getting hurt. I don't want to put a guy out there that's not ready to go and all of the sudden, there's a setback for two weeks. It just doesn't make sense. Albert's got a lot of ability. We get him in great football shape, he can help us. But I'm not going to put him out there until he's in that kind of shape.

“There's a certain percentage of workouts that you've got to be here, and if you're in that percentage, you don't have to go through the conditioning test because we knew you're in good shape. You had done this test in a lot of different running drills along the way."

As we suggested earlier, this might have been a test designed for Haynesworth to fail. Shanahan needs to show the other players who is in charge, and those other players have been mighty critical of Haynesworth during the offseason. Stay tuned to see if Albert can make the grade on Friday. The Redskins need to teach the defensive tackle the new 3-4 scheme in which he’s expected to play the nose. You would imagine that work begins in earnest on Friday, right?

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