Blame lies at Snyder’s feet for Albert Haynesworth fiasco

Daniel Snyder, owner of the Washington Redskins NFL team, smiles on the field before their pre-season game against the Baltimore Ravens in Landover, Maryland, August 21, 2010. REUTERS/Jason Reed  (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

If Daniel Snyder were looking for someone to blame for the way things have unraveled in Washington with the Albert Haynesworth situation, then all he has to do is plant himself in front of a mirror.

I get that this may be an oversimplified way of looking at the situation, but considering this could have all been avoided had Snyder not fallen victim to the same losing methods that he has embraced over the years, the situation is rather simple to grasp.

Haynesworth is who he is and the same goes for Mike Shanahan. As Shanahan has alluded to, Haynesworth is used to getting his way but that’s not going to fly with his new head coach, who has proven in his short stint with the Redskins that his players will fall in line. If you play for him, you’re going to do things his way, which includes practicing if you want to suit up on Sundays.

If Snyder wanted to avoid this situation, all he had to do was pass on cutting (figuratively, of course) Haynesworth a $100 million check last offseason. But because he had to have Haynesworth’s talent, it didn’t matter what the defensive tackle’s track record looked like.

And let’s look at that track record for a moment.

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Albert Haynesworth rips Redskins following preseason loss

Washington Redskins' Albert Haynesworth is seen on the sidelines as the Redskins play a pre-season game against the Buffalo Bills at FedEx Field in Washington on August 13, 2010.  UPI/Kevin Dietsch Photo via Newscom

Following the Redskins’ 23-3 loss to the Ravens on Saturday night in which he didn’t play until the third quarter, Albert Haynesworth ripped the team in 90-second post game locker room interview.

From CSN Washington:

Haynesworth said he wasn’t injured enough to be held out of practice last Wednesday and Thursday.

“I was told I had ‘headaches’ or whatever and that’s why I couldn’t go out and practice,” he said. “I think it was a little bit more than that.”

Haynesworth added: “[Headaches] was part of that but it wasn’t all of it. They left out a lot of stuff.”

Asked for specifics, he said: “You would have to ask them.”

Haynesworth said the Redskins were holding him out of practice as punishment for skipping the OTAs and mini-camps.

“I guess to make me look bad for not going to their offseason conditioning program,” he said. “Next year, I’m not coming either. I’ll be with my trainer again and come back in the same shape I’m in and feel good about myself.”

Haynesworth did not play in the first half against Baltimore and was upset he was on the field in the second half.

“I’m a ninth year pro,” he said. “I don’t think I should have been out there in the third quarter, but having ‘headaches’ again, that’s what they wanted to do.”

It sounds like both sides are playing the power-trip game right now. Mike Shanahan doesn’t want to just give Haynesworth back his starting job (which is why the DT didn’t play until the third quarter last night), while Haynesworth probably feels like he’s done enough to move forward and put the offseason mess behind him.

Either way, there’s obviously still a lot of tension between Haynesworth and Shanahan and neither of them are ready to sit down to a Sunday picnic together and share their feelings. At some point though, Shanahan is going to have to turn this into a positive situation and move forward because Haynesworth gives the team their best chance of winning. When he’s on top of his game (which includes him not being a malcontent), he’s the Skins’ best defender.

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