Wednesday, November 04, 2009

I Don't Even Know What This Means

Stomp on one face and never hear the end of it

This morning I got a tip from lifetime Eagles fan, season ticket holder and Curly R reader/lurker Wilbert Montgomery, it would seem Sports Illustrated ran a poll of 300 active NFL players in training camp on the league's dirtiest players and would you be surprised our own defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth came in second?

In first place was Steelers receiver Hines Ward and tied with Albert for second was former Steelers and current Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter.

Ok so maybe I have lost the plot here, are these guys really dirty players? Read through the comments at the Pro Football Talk post, they talk a lot about how Hines is somehow dirty because he blocks hard downfield and doesn't care who he blocks and wants to be seen as a football player and not a receiver, yada yada. I really do not get it, maybe I do not understand what is the definition of a dirty player any longer.

Yes we know Albert stomped on the face of Cowboys center Andre Gurode in 2006, an act that earned Albert a five game suspension. Does that make him dirty? I think it makes him angry with a rage problem, a condition sort of borne out by myriad traffic violations, injuries caused and divorces in process.

I think by definition in order to be dirty you have to get away with it, at least part of the time, Albert did not exactly get away with stomping Andre's face.

If by dirty you mean unblockable by a single person then Albert is a very dirty player. While rewatching game seven against the Eagles last night the broadcasters threw up an interesting statistic, while playing alongside Albert Haynesworth last season in Tennessee, defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch had 4.5 sacks, not a glorious number though Kyle is the only one of Albert's former Titans linemates from last season that is off his 2008 pace with only one sack through seven games.

In contrast defensive end Andre Carter has already rang up 6.5 sacks, two more over seven games than he had last season in sixteen games. It is clear that Albert has a halo effect and Andre Carter is benefiting from his presence.

Albert Haynesworth: AP photo from here.