John Keim | ESPN.com
ASHBURN, Va. — Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan wanted to be perfectly clear. So after he started to rip into former Redskins defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, he smiled, paused and started over.
And then Shanahan didn’t stop.
When you don’t get along with somebody as a head coach, or assistant coach, it usually falls under one of those couple areas: lazy, lack of passion and a lot of times lack of character. And, uh, he fits all three.
” — Mike Shanahan, on former Redskins player Albert Haynesworth
“When you don’t get along with somebody as a head coach, or assistant coach,” Shanahan said, “it usually falls under one of those couple areas: lazy, lack of passion and a lot of times lack of character. And, uh, he fits all three.”
Shanahan said he wanted to respond to comments Haynesworth made to Tennessee Sports Radio earlier this week. Haynesworth said Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is “gonna learn, I mean, I mean, I hate to say he’s gonna learn about Shanahan, how he’s conniving and everything like that, where he’s not gonna help him out; it’s all about him.”
Haynesworth was upset during his two seasons in Washington in part because the Redskins switched to a 3-4 defensive front in Shanahan’s first year. Haynesworth and Shanahan butted heads during their season together. Haynesworth failed conditioning tests multiple times and was suspended during the season for conduct detrimental to the team.
Haynesworth told the Tennessee radio station that the Redskins would not win under Shanahan.
“Great coach. Yeah. I mean, that’s what he came in, the very first meeting, he came in saying I’m a great coach, I know how to win, I’ve won 25 championships,” Haynesworth said. “I’m like, 25 championships? Then I go back and look, and I was like, you haven’t won a freaking playoff game since [John] Elway retired. How come Elway comes back after Shanahan gets fired? Kind of weird. I mean, the guy is all me, me, me. Sorry to say that.”
Shanahan decided Thursday he’d had enough.
“Let me put it this way,” he said after restarting his response. “I want to say it the right way. The only people I really haven’t gotten along with as a head coach or assistant coach is someone that’s lazy, and No. 2, when someone is lazy and they may lack character or they’re lazy and they lack a passion for the game, those are really the only people I haven’t gotten along with. When I take a look through my years at people who have been lazy or have lacked passion for the job, they don’t go into the next year, and when they do, they don’t last the next year.
“You usually take the high road as much as you can, and I usually do. But he’s been talking quite a bit over the last couple years, so I thought I’d be honest and tell you how I feel.”
Haynesworth signed a $100 million contract with the Redskins in the 2009 offseason. He made $32 million for his two seasons. Washington traded him to the New England Patriots for a fifth-round pick in the summer of 2011.
- Covered the Redskins for the Washington Examiner and other media outlets since 1994
- Authored or co-authored three books on the Redskins and one on the Cleveland Browns