Your move, Mike Shanahan.
Everybody is reporting that Adam Schefter (ESPN) is reporting that the Washington Redskins are unlikely to release disgruntled defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth like everyone, including Albert Haynesworth, wants.
Of the two sides of this argument, Mr. Haynesworth has been the more forthcoming. Think about it. Where does Big Al stand on the 3-4 defense? Or OTAs? Or coach Mike Shanahan? Haynesworth has been transparent on his feelings.
That's more than can be said about Shanahan. Coach Mike has been cryptic with his thoughts and mystifying in his intent when it comes to Haynesworth. The Redskins' justifiable treatment of Big Al belies recent hints that the team hopes Haynesworth will stay. Shanahan is giving passive-aggressive anger a bad name.
We are outsiders looking in. We don't really know what's happening behind the scenes between the coach and player. I'm sure of one thing. If this marriage is to be fixed, Shanahan must take the first and the biggest step.
Former Tennessee Titans coach Jeff Fisher is as tough a disciplinarian as Shanahan. Fisher got the most from Haynesworth by letting Big Al play in the style Big Al wanted to play. That would be a huge step for Shanahan to take, though DC Jim Haslett may be glad to do it. We know by now that Haynesworth won't be anything different than he already is. Why would he change now? He already has Mr. Snyder's money.
Don't expect Big Al at the voluntary OTAs. He already said he would train on his own. It is 50-50 that he shows up for Minicamp. He wasn't there last season, even though he said he would be. Oh, and he doesn't have a high regard for the defensive schemes. He won't break his body to make it work.
That's only half as bad as it sounds. Haynesworth refuses to play nose tackle--says he's not good enough--so he will be off the field when the defense is in nickel and dime packages anyway. He can't hurt you from the sideline.
These things are known. They were known to Jeff Fisher, too. Fisher eventually gave Haynesworth his head and Big Al rewarded him in 2008 with 53 total tackles and 8.5 sacks. I take it that Shanahan is willing to try a page from Fisher's book hoping for similar results.
Or, Schefter's secret source is one month ahead on April Fool's day.
We've been fooled by these stories before. Jason LaCanfora reported in April 2010 that the Redskins would trade Haynesworth to the Titans. LaCanfora was the former Redskins beat writer for The Washington Post. He wrote that story as a scoop of an impending action. He surely thought he had a credible source.
Haynesworth was not traded following an April story that a trade was imminent. Schefter's story that Haynesworth would not be released can only mean one thing.
Haynesworth is outta here.