Albert Haynesworth Is Underachieving, According to ESPN’s NFC East Blog

I’ve heard of Matt Mosley, but admittedly, I know nothing about the guy other than the fact that he writes the NFC East blog for ESPN.com. Oh, and hey, according to his bio he was an “award-winning writer for The Dallas Morning News.” Cool. He must be a big Skins nut then.

Today, Mosley wrote a post titled “NFC East Underachiever: Albert Haynesworth“. Sigh. Let’s get FJM on this shit:

Unfortunately, there are plenty of candidates in what was once (three weeks ago) regarded as the top division in the league.

And still should be. The NFC East has 13 total wins, tied with the NFC North for most in the NFL. Also: Brandon Jacobs.

But Redskins defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth receives the dubious distinction based on the insane amount of money he’s receiving. For $41 million guaranteed, I think you’d like to see him make more of a difference.

Fine. He makes more money than anyone else, he should be held to a higher standard. Now explain how he’s not making a difference.

I don’t really care about his numbers — 17 tackles and 1.5 sacks — because his presence alone was supposed to strike fear in the hearts of offensive coordinators.

Correct: You cannot judge Haynesworth’s effectiveness based purely, or even partially, on his statistics.

So far, Haynesworth appears to wear down in the second half of games and he appears to have the injury bug.

In other words, he’s doing exactly what he’s always done. This does not constitute underachievement.

I don’t even notice him that much on the Redskins.

Yet you noticed that he wears down throughout the course of the game?

Personnel czar Vinny Cerrato thought that Haynesworth would be a catalytic player on the defense, setting up Andre Carter and Brian Orakpo for sacks because of his ability to occupy blockers.

Carter and Orakpo are on pace for a combined 24 sacks. Last season, the entire defense had 24 sacks. Carter is currently sixth in the league with 5.5 sacks. Last year — you know, when Hayneworth wasn’t next to him occupying blockers — he had 4 sacks in the entire season. Of all the possible points to make in favor of your argument, you managed to pick the single worst one. Well done.

He’s capable of disrupting an offense

And he has, see: the above evidence.

but I’d like to see him force a fumble or blow up several plays.

He’s blown up many plays, but by now it’s clear you haven’t actually watched him play. And Andre Carter has two forced fumbles thanks to Haynesworth.

Right now, his most impressive stat is three pass deflections.

“I don’t really care about his numbers.” It’s right there, in the second paragraph of your piece. I remember it because it was the one part we agreed upon. Quite the 180 over the course of about 200 words.

It’s impossible to defend his play right now.

Just did.

He’s being paid like the best defender in the game, but I can name three Redskins players who are having better years than him.

You fail to name any of the three you have in mind, but I guarantee all of them are having better statistical years than him because of him, which is exactly what he is here to do — as you said yourself earlier in the piece.

Every team has an underachiever or two — but Haynesworth is the poster child for underachieving this season. And I think he would admit that if you asked him.

And Matt Mosley has not watched one single Redskins game this season. I think he would admit that if you asked him.

16 thoughts on “Albert Haynesworth Is Underachieving, According to ESPN’s NFC East Blog”

  1. Mosley’s post is one of the laziest POS posts I seen. He’s just piling on the bashing of the Skins. Haynesworth was expected to play 60% of the downs but has been playing closer to 70%. No one is running up the middle and he gets a push up the middle in passing plays. I think Carters and Orakpo’s numbers clearly show his value. Last week he was killing Cassel. And I remember a 4th and goal from the 1 that he ‘blew up’ early this season. Clearly, the Skins paid a lot (and it’s a 4 year $48M contract in reality) but this guy is doing exactly what everyone hoped.

  2. The number of analysts that are making negative comments about the redskins without even seeing a game is almost impressive. Cris Carter, Rodney Harrison, now Matt Mosely – they are not watching the games. They smell blood in the water and want to pile on.

  3. Ok, as always, I’ll bite.

    First of all, Mosley’s a traveling kinda guy, so he goes to at least one NFC East game a week. I’m pretty sure he’s attended at least two Skins games in person already.

    Regardless, I agree with you on all the particulars, C-Mott, but I still think you could argue this is the most underachieving free agent signing of the division. They opened the bank for this one man to get better as a team, and instead they’ve massively regressed.

    Without Haynesworth, they had the fifth-ranked defense; with him, they have the fifth-ranked defense. There are more sacks, sure, but the defense still hasn’t scored a touchdown in forever.(Though D Hall was close). The defense has been awesome, but they did falter at Detroit, when a shutdown day would have almost certainly earned a win.

    Most importantly, they made a massive free agent splash on this guy, and they’re two games worse at this point than they were without him.

    So this isn’t what MM was arguing, but maybe you could make an argument that the $100 million is the most underachieving $100 million in the NFC East. Or the stupidest, anyhow

  4. Let’s go FJM w/ Steinz comment:

    First of all, Mosley’s a traveling kinda guy, so he goes to at least one NFC East game a week. I’m pretty sure he’s attended at least two Skins games in person already.

    If you say so. Doesn’t make his points any more ridiculous.

    I still think you could argue this is the most underachieving free agent signing of the division. They opened the bank for this one man to get better as a team, and instead they’ve massively regressed.

    I can’t think of another free agent signing within the division off the top, but Brandon Jacobs did sign a new contract in the offseason and he’s been far more underachieving than Haynesworth.

    Without Haynesworth, they had the fifth-ranked defense; with him, they have the fifth-ranked defense. There are more sacks, sure, but the defense still hasn’t scored a touchdown in forever.(Though D Hall was close). The defense has been awesome, but they did falter at Detroit, when a shutdown day would have almost certainly earned a win.

    If you base the value of a defense on how many touchdowns it scores, then I cannot argue with your point. “fifth-ranked” refers simply to yards per game. There are other categories in which they have improved this season, however, such as sacks, points allowed per game, etc.


    Most importantly, they made a massive free agent splash on this guy, and they’re two games worse at this point than they were without him.

    Which is because of the offense. Haynesworth plays on defense.


    So this isn’t what MM was arguing, but maybe you could make an argument that the $100 million is the most underachieving $100 million in the NFC East. Or the stupidest, anyhow

    It’s actually $41 million. And I’d need to see the exact amount of money every other team spent in the offseason, and on what, to give you a rebuttal here. Although as you say, it has nothing whatsoever to do w/ Mosley’s point.

  5. How exactly is Haynesworth’s play supposed to single-handedly make the entire team better? He doesn’t play on offense. He can’t open up holes for the running game or make receivers run better routes to get open. His job is to do basically what he’s done quite well: force opposing offensive lines to double team him and make things easier for Carter, Orakpo, Jarmon, or whoever else is rushing the passer.

    The fact that he seems to walk off the field like he’s injured or miss some plays every game is surprising, maybe even funny, but for a team full of underachievers, Haynesworth’s name shouldn’t be close to the top of the list.

  6. I’m pretty sure Mosley’s attended two games: the preseason game against the Ravens, where his attention (understandably) wandered halfway through when Michael Vick signing with an NFC East team; and the opener at New York.

    Just, you know, if we’re counting.

  7. I actually follow Mosely’s blog on ESPN and I have to say he the shittiest blogger of them all. Sorry Steinz but he definitely favors the Cowboys and also the Eagles this year, because of Michael Vick. This isn’t just because I’m Redskins biased either. He hardly follows the Giants and frankly, can barely keep up with his posts. He spent all of 1 day at Redskins training camp because the Vick story broke. Never came back. Also it may have been pre-season but one of the Skins games he came to he also didn’t pay attention to because some other story was breaking. The only reason he’s paying attention now is because of the entire debacle that’s going on.

    As for Haynesworth, yeah he takes naps a lot on the field, and yes the stats for him don’t reflect a lot of production; however, if MM actually watched the games he’d see that Haynesworth is actually making a pretty decent impact for our defense and allowing the other players to make the big plays.

  8. “Which is because of the offense. Haynesworth plays on defense.”

    I don’t really know how to italicize your words, but yeah, I don’t argue with you that Haynesworth plays defense and the problem is offense. I just think when you break the bank for him, it’s with the expectation that your defense will win you games. Hasn’t happened. Don’t care how awful the offense is, they’ve played some of the worst teams in the league, and it has not happened.

    And I think Haynesworth has been awesome.

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