Some standout nose tackles offer advice to Haynesworth

The Washington Redskins will open training camp on Thursday and Amy Shipley of the Washington Post has found some valuable advice for Albert Haynesworth just in the nick of time.

In a well-written story that is worth a look, she tracked down some of the NFL’s finest nose tackles from the last four decades and talked to them about the dirty work needed at a position that never gets the glory.

Haynesworth has skipped the offseason program, including minicamp, upset about the move to the 3-4 defense in Washington, the one that will require him to be at the point as the nose tackle. Haynesworth claims it isn’t what he signed up for when he signed a contract as the free-agent prize in 2009. He’s already pocketed $32 million from owner Daniel Snyder and now he wants out, not to learn a new position.

“Should I get a napkin to wipe his fat tears?” former Buffalo Bills great Fred Smerlas told Shipley. “The public does not sympathize with someone making $100 million.”

According to the story, Curley Culp, Bob Baumhower, Ted Washington and Smerlas all began their careers elsewhere. They eventually transitioned to the nose and the foursome combined for 18 Pro Bowl appearances. No, they weren’t thrilled with the position switch either. But they grew to accept it, understand the value in it and relish it ultimately.

Per Shipley, Washington offered to tutor Haynesworth if approached by Snyder. Having watched Washington earlier in his career with the Chicago Bears, he was the kind of teammate then that would work with younger players at the position. Few have done it better than Washington, who was generously listed at 6-5, 350 pounds during the latter part of his career.

“There are several things you have to realize," Washington said. "No. 1, you're not going to be getting all the glory. No. 2, you're going to be double- and triple-teamed at least 85 percent of the time.

"But it's fun. When you get good at it, you can make it fun."

Shipley provides a fun read and points out that the nose tackle position has been overlooked by the Pro Football Hall of Fame even though the 3-4 defense has been around since the early 1970’s. Whether Haynesworth finds any fun in the nose tackle position, we’ll see. Stay tuned.

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