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Shanahan On Haynesworth Decision: 'It Was Just Time'


The Redskins practiced on Wednesday for the first time since the team's decision to suspend defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth.

Head coach Mike Shanahan explained the decision in his post-practice media session.

"When he first came in, we talked about a 4-3 defense, and he didn't like the 4-3 defense a year ago," Shanahan said. "He didn't like the base defense, he didn't like the nickel defense. He came here and he didn't want to play nose tackle, didn't want to play defensive end. We got him playing the nickel package, first and second and third downs. He didn't like first and second down nickel, wanted to play nickel in passing situations...

"It was just time. It was time to go another direction. I have never quite been through a situation like this before. We did it in the best interests of our football team. Now we go on."

Shanahan was asked if Redskins owner Daniel M. Snyder got involved in the decision-making process on Haynesworth.

"No, he didn't," Shanahan said. "Dan has been great to me. I haven't discussed the situation with Dan."

Shanahan said his goal this season was to make sure Haynesworth was in football shape and would play "as hard as he could possibly play."

"One of the reasons why I didn't think he was very consistent [in 2009] is that I didn't think he was in shape because he kept on going down throughout the season," he said. "So there were a lot of factors [in the decision].

"I really had a pretty good relationship with him. It was never argumentative, pretty good for the most part, a lot of drama obviously with all the press coverage. But when someone dictates when they go in, when they won't go in, it was just a little bit too much for me."

Why wait until Week 14 of the regular season to suspend Haynesworth?

"You keep on working, you try to make it work, you try to get the best out of someone," Shanahan said. "You keep on pushing and the guy gets in better shape, but all of a sudden when push comes to shove and it keeps on dragging on, especially when someone is adamant about a couple situations, you just say, 'Hey, enough is enough and we go on.'"

It would appear that Haynesworth's tenure in Washington has come to an end.

He arrived in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 28, 2009, with much fanfare, signing a lucrative contract to join the Redskins after seven seasons with the Tennessee Titans.

The team could release or trade Haynesworth next offseason.

Is there any way Haynesworth returns to the Redskins in 2011?

"I'm not going to go through all the possibilities and what-ifs," he replied. "Let's just now talk about Tampa Bay," the Redskins' opponent this week.

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