Haynesworth singing praises of the new defense
The biggest development Friday night at FedEx Field was that the Washington Redskins came out and looked pretty solid in the preseason debut of coach Mike Shanahan, trouncing the Buffalo Bills 42-17.
The starters and second team were both efficient. The next biggest development? Well, Albert Haynesworth broke his silence with the media, speaking for the first time since last season.
To hear Haynesworth tell it, he likes the 3-4 scheme that Jim Haslett has installed, the one that had Haynesworth hot, bothered and looking for a trade during the offseason. Haynesworth objected to the role of the nose tackle, but there is going to be some movement and opportunities for him to play end also. At least for now, he’s saying the right things.
“It's different, but I like it. It's something I got to get used to,” Haynesworth said. “Other than that, it's going to be a good defense. It'll allow me to pass rush and everything like that, which is important to me.
“What I was told earlier (in the offseason) was completely different from what we're doing now. Getting with Haslett these last few weeks has really cleared up a whole lot of stuff. I really enjoy it, and it's great to have him on my side to help me with the defense and stuff.
“I've never really played the nose, straight-up nose, so it's a little different. But the one thing is, you do get double-teams, but you got linebackers coming downhill, so they're not going to stand there the whole time, which in a 4-3, they were going to stay on you. ...now it's a lot different. It's still going sideways, which I'm not used to. But after getting all that stuff down, I think it'll be pretty good.”
Haynesworth said that his knee, which caused him to miss 10 days of training camp when he couldn’t pass Shanahan’s conditioning test, is fine. There is no new issue with it. He dealt with knee issues last training camp. The Redskins knew what they were getting with him physically when the dropped huge coin on him in free agency.
But Haynesworth has been a huge target for criticism – from media, fans, teammates and others around the league. It’s been a surreal situation from the standpoint that players rarely call out other players, especially teammates.
“I don't care,” Haynesworth said. “I mean, hell, people been talking about me since I've been born, so it ain't nothing different now.”
Next up for Haynesworth is the task of winning a starting job.
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