One positive refrain throughout the offseason was Coach Shanahan's disciplined, no-nonsense approach. The issue of Albert Haynesworth was the first great test of Shanahan in DC, and the coach didn't blink.
Haynesworth reportedly met with Coach Shanahan today, and has agreed to a fitness test, playing any position asked and practicing with the second team. Most of us would agree to that in exchange for the $21 million bonus Haynesworth picked up in April, yet it seemed unlikely that Haynesworth would play another down for DC.
The massive tackle could certainly be reporting only to make himself more attractive for a trade. But his price tag is steep and he's earned the enmity of GM's ... as well as fellow tackles. If Haynesworth is truly committed, he will be allowed to play strictly on Coach Shanahan's terms:
I'm expecting him to be in great shape. And if he's not in great shape, then we're going to do what we need to do to get him in shape. Once he gets to that point, hopefully he'll fit into our system and do the things we want him to do. Because, if he does, he can be an excellent football player for us. If not, we're going to be very good anyhow.Nonsense and indiscipline have been in copious supply for some time in DC. If Shanahan can successfully make Haynesworth a team player, it would cement the coach as the benevolent, autocratic leader.
There is no democracy in football. Perhaps Washington can achieve surprising things this season under the iron fist of Generalissimo Shanahan. The moon rises and butterflies flutter according to his glorious will!
UPDATE: Fat Albert Haynesworth failed his conditioning test. He will not be allowed to practice until he passes the test. Haynesworth is the only Washington player to fail a conditioning test in my memory. Remember, this is the highest-paid professional athlete on the team.
All we can hope is that this is the final collapsing stargasm of the Cerrato/Snyder era. I look forward to not seeing Haynesworth on the field in 2010. Everything negative which has been written about him (and brother, that's a lot of poorly-spelled comments) has been fully justified.
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