Haynesworth’s conditioning tests less about running, more about respect

ASHBURN, VA - JULY 29: New Head Coach Mike Shanahan of the Washington Redskins watches practice on the first day of training camp July 29, 2010 in Ashburn, Virginia. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Far be it for me to write about another man’s intentions, but it sure looks to me that Mike Shanahan’s conditioning test for Albert Haynesworth is less about cardio and more about respect.

According to several media outlets, Haynesworth has failed two conditioning tests over the past two days. He passed the first leg of Shanahan’s test (which consisted of two 300-yard shuttle runs) on Thursday, only to fail the second because he needed to take a bathroom break. (No word yet on if it was a No. 1 or a No. 2 for Haynesworth.)

When Shanahan asked Haynesworth to run a third leg of the test, the massive defensive tackle told his head coach that he has never had to run three such sprints during even his best of seasons (including the years he went to the Pro Bowl). Considering defensive linemen never have to run further than 5-10 yards on a given play, it would seem a little absurd that Shanahan would make Haynesworth run this much (especially while the DT is reportedly in great shape as it is).

But that’s not the point now is it? The point is that Haynesworth spent virtually the entire offseason complaining about this situation in Washington and Shanahan wasn’t going to allow the defender to waltz into camp on Day 1 and act like everything is just gravy. Shanahan has been around long enough to know how to handle these types of situations and he has decided to test Haynesworth’s resolve right off the bat. Again, I can’t speak for Shanahan’s intentions, but it appears as though he’s making a point that one player doesn’t come above the team. And if you want to be a part of this team, you’re going to have to bust your hump. If you don’t, well, then there’s the door.

If these are indeed Shanahan’s intentions when it comes to Haynesworth’s conditioning tests, then how could you not appreciate this if you’re a Redskins fan? Coming off of Jim Zorn, this has to be a welcoming sight in D.C.

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