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Shanahan 'Very Disappointed' With Haynesworth's Absence


Head coach Mike Shanahan said on Wednesday that he was "very disappointed" that defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth has opted not to attend this week's mandatory mini-camp at Redskins Park.

Shanahan addressed Haynesworth's absence at length during a post-practice media session.

Said Shanahan: "When I first talked with Albert back in February, and got a good feel on how he felt, and sat down and talked with his agent, we let Albert know at that time that we would give him until April 1 to go to any team he wanted to in the National Football League.

"So if he wasn't pleased about playing nose tackle or any other position we had planned for him, then we would let him take a look at any team he wanted to go to.

"But on April 1, when we owed him a check for $21 million dollars, we said, 'If you take that check, we do expect you to be the best defensive end, the best nose tackle--if we play you at free safety, we expect you to be the best free safety,' even though he'd have to lose a little weight.

"Whatever position we play him at, he would have to do the best job he possibly could and make a commitment to be the best football player.

"Obviously he took the check. So I was surprised he wasn't here [at mini-camp], because I thought he did make that commitment once he took that check, that he wanted to be a Washington Redskin and he wanted to do the best thing for the Washington Redskins to help our defense and help our team win.

"Obviously it didn't go in that direction. So we're quite disappointed with him."

Where do the Redskins go from here with Haynesworth?

"Exactly where we started from," Shanahan replied. "Albert hasn't been here. He hasn't been a part of this football team. We've been doing very, very well as a football team. Guys are working extremely hard. I'm not going to get into specifics of what our game plan is [regarding Haynesworth]."

Haynesworth joined the Redskins on Feb. 27, 2009, signing a lucrative contract that made him one of the highest-paid defensive linemen in the NFL. He played in 12 games last season and posted 56 tackles and four sacks.

When Shanahan took over as Redskins head coach last January, he hired Jim Haslett to install the 3-4 defense.

That meant Haynesworth would be asked to play nose tackle, a physically demanding position.

Haynesworth balked.

Said Shanahan: "All of our players play multiple positions. If you are a defensive end, you have to play nose tackle. You have to do what is best for our football team...Albert hasn't been here. He has no idea what type of scheme we're running. All he envisions is a typical nose tackle."

Shanahan was asked if the Haynesworth situation would be like a cloud hanging over the team until it's resolved.

"The thing is, [the Haynesworth story] is not a cloud," he replied. "It's not a distraction because he hasn't been here. That's the interesting part. The only distraction I have is answering these questions. But he has not been a distraction to me or to our football team because he hasn't been here."

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