Washington Redskins

Stadium: FedEx Field | Coach: Jay Gruden
Team RankingOverallRushingPassing
Offense21st113.0 (13th)245.0 (20th)
Defense5th92.5 (6th)227.8 (7th)

Redskins report: Inside slant

The Sports Xchange
Inside slant · Notes, quotes · Strategy and personnel

Albert Haynesworth hasn't spoken to the Washington media since his first Redskins season ended with a 4-12 record and his estrangement from the coaching staff. And the former All-Pro defensive tackle exited new coach Mike Shanahan's offseason conditioning program at Redskins Park after just one week to pursue his own regimen back home in Tennessee.

But Haynesworth took the time on March 22 to speak to Sirius NFL Radio, and he was his usual opinionated self.

Asked about working out away from his coaches and teammates, Haynesworth said, "My plan is I'm going to work out with my trainer that I've had the last few years. The years I've trained with him I've had my best years in football. ... Last year I worked out with the Redskins and the year that we had ... wasn't great by any means. Very disappointed with my play and stuff like that, so I'm getting back to basics, what got me to be one of the top defensive guys in the NFL."

Shanahan, a noted stickler for making "voluntary" workouts anything but wasn't happy that his team's highest-paid player was breaking ranks.

Said Haynesworth, "He was like, 'I wanted you to train with our guys' ... and I said, 'I totally respect that and all that but to get me back to where I want to be I need the serious training. I need the stuff that got me where I'm at.'

"My trainer, he comes up with some great stuff that's for ... not just maybe a defensive lineman, but just for me. So nothing against them, but if I want to get back to being the best defensive tackle in the NFL then I need to do this."

The next topic was the Redskins' switch to a 3-4 defense, a scheme in which he's never played. He might be asked to man the thankless nose tackle spot.

"If it was me, in this situation I would say definitely end," Haynesworth said.

"You look at all the nose tackles in the NFL they're all the same type guys. Like me, I'm 6-6, 330-340 pounds and most of those guys are short, stubbier, pretty much like stump-type guys. So I don't think I'm built to be a nose tackle to be honest."

But just when Big Albert was sounding like he's going to be Shanahan's biggest headache, the unpredictable mountain of a man turned teddy bear.

"I'm not going to be a distraction or anything so I'm just going to do what they ask me to do," Haynesworth said.

"They pay me to play football. As long as I'm dominating and being that great player then that's all that matters. No matter how I get there, as long as they want me doing that then that's what matters."

Shanahan, for now, sounded a similar note.

"We're going to evaluate where (Albert) influences our defense the most, where he gives us the best chance to win," the coach said. "Obviously, he's a dominating player. And when the time comes, we'll evaluate where he should play and what gives us the best chance to win."

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