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Jim Haslett: Albert Haynesworth in 3-4 Defense is Square Peg in Round Hole

One of the biggest stories this off-season was Albert Haynesworth’s refusal to appear at off-season activities for the Washington Redskins. The team had paid him a $21 million bonus but Albert was reluctant to participate because he didn’t feel like the team’s switch to a 3-4 defense fit him well. After embarrassing Haynesworth with conditioning drills, the defensive tackle is finally playing with the team and guess what? They’ve admitted the 3-4 defense is not a good fit for him!

“Trying to get him to do the 3-4 stuff was trying to get a square peg into a round hole. We were trying to force the issue,” [defensive coordinator Jim] Haslett said. “Obviously, it hasn’t worked out the way we would like. I still think he can do it, ’cause he’s a good athlete and he is athletic and tough enough to do it. I think he just needs more time doing it. … The good coaches in the league are smart enough to know that you try to get a guy to fit the system, but there’s no reason why you can’t change the system to fit the guy.”

I never agreed with the way Haynesworth handled his business — if he wanted to play in a different system, he shouldn’t have cashed his bonus check. Once he cashed the check, he should have joined the team in workouts and been a model teammate. Still, the Redskins were hurting themselves by dicking Albert around and not using him during games. The big man had a monster game against the Bears this past weekend and is a difference-maker. They’re only hurting themselves by not playing him or getting the defense to fit him better. Now that he’s on the field consistently, Washington is much more of a defensive threat.


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