Albert Haynesworth knows tough times.
In 2006, Haynesworth played for a Tennessee Titans squad that started 0-5 before coming to Washington and pulling off a 25-22 upset victory over the Redskins. That win would help propel the Titans to an 8-3 finish.
Now Haynesworth is with the Redskins and he admits that the team's 2-5 start has been "difficult."
"I hate to lose," he said. "It has been real hard."
Can these Redskins rebound the way the Titans did in 2006?
"I look at every team different because [players] respond differently," he said. "That [Titans] team didn't have a whole lot of talent, but they had a lot of youth. Guys started getting discouraged, and we had to turn it around.
"Here, we have a lot of talent and a lot of older guys. We have to do something to turn it around."
In his first year in Washington since signing a lucrative free agent contract last February, Haynesworth has posted 34 tackles, three tackles and a fumble recovery.
As was predicted in his introductory press conference, Haynesworth has had a major impact on the Redskins' defense, particularly against the pass.
Overall, the Redskins' defense is ranked fourth in the NFL and second against the pass.
The defense has posted 18 sacks, led by Andre Carter's 6.5, through seven games. The sack total is tied for seventh-best in the league.
Last year, the defense had 24 sacks the entire season.
"I remember I was asked about [whether] me being here would help other guys' numbers and stuff like that, but what I should have said is that we'll get some more wins," Haynesworth said. "That's the thing I failed to mention. But everything else has happened.
"Right now it's all about getting some wins. Everybody plays this game trying to get to the Pro Bowl, and if you look at past years, guys that have dominated and had great numbers but they were on a losing team--there was no recognition for the Pro Bowl. Obviously that guy didn't do enough, you could say.
"That's the way I look at it. If we want to be a great team and we want everybody's numbers to improve and then go to the Pro Bowl, then we have to start winning games."
-- COOLEY RECOVERING FROM SURGERY
Chris Cooley will sit out his first NFL game this Sunday when the Redskins take on the Atlanta Falcons.
Cooley remains sidelined after undergoing surgery on a fractured ankle last week. It is hoped that he can return to action in four weeks.
"I'm going to see the doctor on Monday and we can reevaluate how it has healed and see how everything looks," Cooley said. "Right now it's still really sore. I can't move it or set it down."
Asked if he had thought about going on season-ending injured reserve rather than risk playing again, Cooley replied simply: "I would like to play if my ankle feels good."
For now, Cooley plans to travel with the team to Atlanta. He is walking in a large walking boot.
He acknowledges that it is going to be hard to watch the game from the sidelines. He had played in 87 consecutive games before suffering the injury in the Oct. 26 game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
"I'll be there for all my friends," Cooley said. "I'll be a part of the team as much as I can. I'll go out and mess around on the field [at pre-game] and then try to help the guys.
"It'll be tough for me, but it's not really an option of whether I could or could not play. That takes the decision out of it."
-- HEYER FULL-GO IN PRACTICE
Stephon Heyer took all of the first-team reps in Wednesday's practice at Redskins Park. Heyer was slowed by a sprained knee last week.
"He continues to improve as we go along here," Jim Zorn said. "He didn't miss a thing."
Heyer worked with the first-team offensive line. Last week, Zorn hinted that newcomer Levi Jones could get some reps with the first team, depending on how fast Heyer recovers from his injury.
Meantime, H.B. Blades and Byron Westbrook sat out practice, as expected.
Both are recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery last week.
Blades was able to take part in some drills during Wednesday's practice.
"H.B. is coming along pretty well," Zorn said. "He was out working all of the drills off to the side, not with the team. He looks like the furthest guy ahead. Westbrook is coming along."