Once again Albert Haynesworth is in the headlines for the all wrong reasons. Our radio pals Zach and the Coach over at ESPN 101 St.Louis had Washington Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett on the program last week. Haslett essentially torched Haynesworth for being the kind of high paid athlete who has no respect for his coaches, teammates or organization overall. Haynesworth was said to have brought his phone into a defensive meeting along with reading the newspaper while the team was going over schemes. He also didn’t want to conform to the Redskins defensive schemes last season. The whole situation just shows how immature and selfish the highest paid defensive player in all of football can be and why the signing of Haynesworth has been an absolute disaster for Daniel Snyder and the Washington Redskins. Vonnie Holliday, Redskins NFLPA Representative, discussed the future of Albert Haynesworth in Washington if the lockout were to be lifted with 106.7 the Fan in Washington, D.C. He confirmed the comments made by Jim Haslett last week and from the sound of it was very disappointed in the way Haynesworth has handled his time in the nation’s capital. Vonnie Holliday joined 106.7 The Fan in D.C. on the LaVar Arrington Show with Chad Dukes to discuss Jim Haslett’s comments made about Albert Haynesworth along with being frustrated to play alongside Haynesworth, being any closer to a new collective bargaining agreement, NFL rookies being behind due to the lockout and how do the members of the Redskins defensive line rationalize Haynesworth’s antics. You have to talk about a subject I’m sure you’re tired of talking about. It’s not often you hear the comments that your defensive coordinator, Jim Haslett, comes out and says about Albert Haynesworth on Pickled Hogs Radio.
You could hear the frustration in Haslett’s voice. Haynesworth won’t do what the coaches say. If it’s that frustrating for the defensive coordinator I’d have to imagine it’s frustrating for you guys on that defense?
“It is frustrating and as a veteran player…LaVar [Arrington] you know it is. I mean short of getting into a fight with Big Al [Albert Haynesworth]. You can’t tell him what to do. You know when the coaches and here’s my thing…As frank as Coach Haslett was on the radio station [Pickled Hogs Radio] about what transpired throughout the course of last year with Albert I thought there was a missed opportunity there for coaches. I know I’m playing in Washington. My family is back in Atlanta and we’re talking about the ‘phone incident.’ If I go to a meeting and maybe this is something that was just instilled in me early in my career you just don’t take your phone to a meeting. If a phone rings in a meeting it is an issue. It is a problem. You are going to get cursed out, fussed out and fined. Any number of things are going to happen to you by your coach. I’m terrified. So when I go to a meeting most of the time my phone is in my locker because I am afraid even when it is off that an alarm may go off. I don’t know what’s going to happen with this phone, so I still have that in me. These younger guys it is not the same. It’s not looked at as the same. Unfortunately Albert…some of the stuff that Coach Haslett is talking about having a phone in the meeting it was just not addressed. Coming up you’re telling a guy ‘Hey don’t bring your phone to a meeting.’ You can’t do that. I mean the way we get through to these guys is to fine them and that just never happened throughout the year. I think for me being a veteran player to go over and rag on him [Albert Haynesworth] and get on him and talk to him about it that’s nothing if the coach doesn’t say ‘Hey keep your phone out of here or when it goes off I’ll fine you. When I see you are on your phone I’ll fine you for having your phone at a meeting.’ “
Are the rumors true? Are we closer to getting a deal done for a new CBA?
“I think we are. The closer we get to football of course. That window of all the balking and what is it the stand off? It has to come to a head. Now you’re talking about seriously losing some money and especially the owners losing that pre-season money through television and all that stuff. It starts getting a little scary for them and they have debts out there. They have stadiums. They have mortgages they have to pay and so it’s important for them. They got ticket holders. They need to get that revenue coming in. There is some pressure on the owners. There’s certainly some pressure on us. You guys think about not necessarily the veteran guys that have been around for a long time, but it is those guys who are going through free agency, guys who are in their sixth year and have an opportunity to get on the market. You are talking about those young guys coming out of college. Those practice squad players. The pressure is on. Sometimes guy are starting to feel a pinch in their pockets and they can’t wait for the end of July when it’s time to go to camp and start to collect some small…some money coming in…a bunch of a bills to pay for. But certainly getting into September when things are for real. You got those checks coming in.”
What do you think it is like to be a rookie and have this lockout occur? It’s gotta be frustrating starting ‘behind the eight ball’ once their NFL career eventually begins?
“Yeah it has to be a little frustrating for those guys, but ultimately what those guys are going to miss is that most of the time they are drafted in April. They come to that June mini-camp and then throughout the course of the rest of June until we break and I think last year was only 2 weeks I think with the Redskins. Normally you have a month between workouts, off-season workouts and when training camp starts. These guys are essentially missing about a month. They’re not missing checks yet. Most of the time those guys don’t sign until that month window before training camp starts or during training camp, so these guys are missing a whole lot yet. Would it be beneficial for them to already be in the playbook and studying? Yeah. But these guys are still enjoying the high life of being drafted and coming in. These guys who are missing out are those free agent college players. They are missing the opportunity to get in and show the coaches that they can play or what kind of person they are on-and-off the field. Those guys are going to be the ones hurting.” The thing that Jim Haslett said about the newspaper. That Albert Haynesworth would sit there and read the newspaper. You’ve had to work very hard to say in the league and there’s a lot of veterans on that team. How do you guys not drag him out behind the woodshed when something like that happens? You look at that and see the all the money he is being paid and that takes place.
How do you guys rationalize that as members of that defense?
“First of all I’m not in it to be Albert Haynesworth basher. Albert, and I got to know him a little bit…Yes, some of the on-the-field antics, some of the stuff in the the meeting rooms have been disappointing. If you’re in the meeting room and you’re reading the paper and you go out on Sunday and you put it down. You’re being accountable. You’ve been a dominating player that we all know that this guy could be. We have no issues. It’s just like that. That’s not the case. I know that can be frustrating for a new defensive line coach coming in. A new defensive coordinator. Seeing what this guy is capable of doing and then it just not playing out on the field. It was certainly frustrating for me. One of the reasons I signed with Washington was for the opportunity to play with a guy like Albert. Me being in the twilight of my career, giving me an opportunity to get away from a few doubles [double teams], focus on him and sneak in and get some sacks, be productive and piggy back. To be honest this is a guy that if he plays at the level that we know he can play at, will raise the level of play for everybody around him. It’s unfortunate that it has not played out. I don’t know what’s going to happen moving forward but after these comments made by coach Has(slett), you’ve got to think how this guy is going to go back into that locker room and listen to coach and do anything short of what happened last year.”