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Albert Haynesworth

Shanahan Is Making an Example of Haynesworth Because He Has To

Albert Haynesworth made the decision not to show up to the Redskins mandatory minicamp last month, therefore he has to pass a conditioning test at training camp before he gets to practice with the team. These are the rules. Every player lives by them. Whether you make $40 million or the league minimum.

Thus, Mike Shanahan is left with two options:

1) Let Haynesworth practice with the rest of the team without passing the test.

2) Make Haynesworth take the test every day until he passes it.

As we all know, Shanahan has picked option 2:

“It may take a week,” Shanahan said. “We don’t know. …The only thing I can tell you is that when he does pass the test, I’ll feel very good that he can go out there and compete at that position.”

Mike Shanahan is going to make Haynesworth take that fucking test every day until he passes it. He has failed twice. He’ll try again Saturday morning. If he fails, he’ll try again the next practice. And again the one after that. And this is how it has to be.

Sure, Shanahan is doing more than simply following the rules — he is making an example out of Haynesworth. But it’s an example that must be made. Remember: Albert brought this on himself by not showing up for mini-camp. His trade demands, and gripes about the new system certainly didn’t help matters. So now, Shanahan has to show Albert, and the team, who is in charge. I realize that’s some cliched bullshit, but in this case, it’s true. This is Shanahan’s first camp with the Redskins, he has to establish authority and discipline. He has to draw the line. He cannot be a pushover simply because Haynesworth makes a lot of money and is a vital part of the team’s defense.

Naturally, Haynesworth doesn’t like this:

“I’m tired of this [expletive],” Haynesworth told NBC4 Thursday evening. “I just want to get out on field and play football.”

And we all want Haynesworth out on the field. Word is that he’s actually in good shape, thinner, and ready to play. There’s no doubt he’s the key piece to the new 3-4 defense. But if he wanted to be on the field so badly, he should have either considering that when he decided not to come to mini-camp, or practiced the conditioning test in advance in order to be prepared for it.

He left Mike Shanahan with no choice, really.

UPDATE: Great stuff from Mike Prada at SB Nation D.C. on the specifics of the test, as told to him by the Skins Strength and Conditioning Coach. Including:

“It’s actually not a test for everybody on the team. The guys that were under 50 percent [participation in OTAs] were notified that they got to get over 50 percent, or there’s a test. I think Andre Carter was close, Rocky McIntosh was close, so we let them know. [Now], they’re over 50 percent. But our team is so high – we’re 90.4-percent [participation] as a team – so nobody was in danger of having to do a test,” he said.

However, when asked whether this was then a “Haynesworth test,” Wright said “No, it’s not a Haynesworth test. It’s a test for anybody under 50 percent attendance or less. He was the only guy.”

And …

Wright confirmed that the “test” is a set of two 300-yard shuttle runs in 25-yard increments (i.e. 25-yards up, 25-yards back six times). An offensive or defensive linemen needs to finish the first set in under 70 seconds, then gets a three and a half minute break before having to do it again in 73 seconds. On Thursday, Haynesworth passed the first segment, then took a 10-minute break instead of the three-minute break.

Former Managing Editor at UPROXX; former Senior Editor at @SBNation; former ska-zine editor, fan of bad sports teams and good beer.



  1. Jules

    July 30, 2010 at 1:16 PM

    Preach it brother. I love what Shanahan is doing.

  2. CptChaosSidekick

    July 30, 2010 at 2:18 PM

    I like it to but at what point does Shanahan lose the locker room? I know that’s the extreme side and God knows there’s been no ccountability in Ashburn for sometime.

  3. dingoVB

    July 30, 2010 at 3:23 PM


    Do you really think Shanny would lose the locker room over this? What, are the other players going to start sticking up for Albert? NO WAY. I bet Fletch, PDaniels, and the rest of the boys are quietly smiling and happy that Shanahan is making sure Al does this stuff.

    No way anybody has gripes with Shanahan over how he gets Albert back into the fold.

  4. Phil

    July 30, 2010 at 3:26 PM

    This is completely different to when Marty had assigned seating during team trips and had them do oklahoma drills every practice. This is something that doesn’t affect every single player and let’s them know that there are consequences if you don’t do what you’re supposed to.

  5. marvin

    August 1, 2010 at 12:58 AM

    there is no need for the use of foul language in this blog. its amazing to me how many people use foul language to cover up their lack of knowledge of the sport or the english language. grow up and clean up your act or dont use the blogs to post your nasty worded comments

  6. horseydeucey

    August 1, 2010 at 12:21 PM

    marvin, you’re right. But then again, there’s no need for you to read this blog. There’s also no need for you to comment on this blog.

    You must be one of the growing number of Americans who is convinced that we passed a Constitutional Amendment protecting your right to not be offended– there’s no such thing, by the way.

    Why don’t you start a Nation’s Capital Sports blog that doesn’t use “foul language” or “nasty worded comments” (whatever those are, you schoolmarm), so you can be the empirical arbiter of what is “good” and “clean” and “wholesome” language and then you will definitely make a lot of money on ad revenue because everyone will be so astounded by how knowledgeable you are on sports and the English language and won’t be able to help clicking on your blog and reading everything you posted (you know, because it is so fucking relevant and necessary).

    I hope I just wasted five minutes of my time on a sarcastic comment. But I’m worried you were being earnest. If so, close your eyes, or don’t visit, or keep your “well, I never” comments to yourself, or sell your computer, or demand censorship on the web, or blame Obama, or lighten up, Sandy baby– pick one and get on with your life.

  7. trooperjoe73

    August 2, 2010 at 12:51 AM

    horseydeucey, that is one of the best comments I’ve read in a long while. Marvin should listen!

  8. Rfzonadc

    August 2, 2010 at 3:54 AM

    “Cock. Balls”

  9. Michael Weber

    August 2, 2010 at 12:53 PM

    I am a Fan of M.Shanahan,He knows how to get the best out of his players. While he was here at Denver,he was tested by C.Portis.He told him like
    it or leave it. So Haynesworth should do what he has to do. He is being paid to play football.

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