Trash that takes you out
Sunday 1 August 2010 | Forty-two days until kickoff
The story is turning into a saga as neither side was able to meet the other's terms again today on day four of Redskins 2010 training camp: Defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth rested his sore knee another day, did not take the required conditioning test for the second straight day after failing it on days one and two. He has now missed four days of practice and is taking valuable one on one time from defensive coordinator Jim Haslett and defensive line coach Jacob Burney that would much better be spent on the full defense.
Albert is still lining up against trash cans. They still do not even give him a tackling sled. And he is pissed (ibid.).
And an interesting aspect if this whole drama broke today, one that might ultimately make everyone look silly here: In every sideline trashbin session with coaches Haslett and or Burney, Albert has been focusing on right defensive end, not nose tackle (op. cit).
So what does that mean? Not too sure at this point, it was principally Albert's objection to the position he thought he was going to play, that being nose tackle, and the hints and foreshadowings of head coach Mike Shanahan to that effect, that set Albert off onto his spring and summer no show show. Albert wanted the team to want Albert to be Albert so badly that any hint of the team not letting Albert be Albert, which is shorthand for line up and go that he got all big baby and went away.
Meanwhile back at the ranch it was all a ruse or early reflection by the coaches on where Albert might fit, and either their position on Albert playing nose tackle has softened, or we have not seen the Albert practicing nose tackle portion of camp yet. The other guy at nose tackle, Maake Kemoeatu is still less than one hundred percent in a return from an Achilles tendon rupture, so with no other perfect nose tackle on the roster make of that what you will.
I think the coaches know and always knew that Albert would be playing different positions in scenarios and once they heard of his opposition to nose tackle they just let that story ride to see if it would get under his skin, how he would handle it and whether he would trust the team to play him in a way that maximizes his abilities. The old thou doth protest too much strategy.
Something has to give here, either Albert has to buck up and pass the test or coach Shanahan has to give him a pass or lengthen the running times.
Talk of a contract extension for quarterback Donovan McNabb continues to build, this time columnist Mike Wise of the Washington Post advocates for a three or four year deal in the thirty million dollar range for Dono, he deserves it and I hope he gets it, I would like to see Dono stay in Washington at least a couple of years. I will say again, back after the Dono trade I read somewhere that Dono was ineligible for a contract extension until this month, August, due to contract actions with the Eagles last year, something about players not being able to rework some or all of a contract twice in the same year. I have not been able to find anything on this, anyone with a link or info drop a comment or shoot me a note.
There was also some other interesting Donovan McNabb news. Seems last week Dono got together with a bunch of business leaders and executives, not to give them a motivational speech or to fish for endorsement deals, but rather to start getting to know the Washington area, network with the movers and shakers and start looking at potenial business partners in which to invest money. This piece, from the new awesome Washington Post Capital Business weekly, seems to portray Dono as interested in potentially any kind of venture, and also as surrounded tightly by a coterie of family and managers, all of whom work for Team Donovan, this family as team concept is also featured in the Sunday WaPo Sports anchor piece from Sunday.
Receiver Malcolm Kelly got some more bad news today (op. cit.), no not his hamstring, that injury kept Malcolm out of action for a third consecutive day, and fellow third year second round pick receiver Devin Thomas is making the best of it with strong camp performances. Devin would appear to be moving up from the depth chart basement while Malcolm sits there. Come cut day some veterans are going to get their papers and I would not want to be a guy on the line dealing with an injury, at least one that was not season ending because then they have to keep you and pay you.
In other news we are hearing more about details of Jim Haslett's 3-4 defense, one aspect of it is more blitzing, former Redskins defensive coordinators Gregg Williams and Greg Blache were both averse to continual blitzing, philosophically Gregg and Greg believe too much blitzing actually exposes weaknesses more than hiding them. Both love a good blitz to be sure, you were more likely to get a blitz heavy game every so often from those guys than a philosophy of finding the holes and getting through them right at the snap.
Jim Haslett on the other hand wants to force the opposing offense to make bad decisions early, so he has multiple blitz packages built into the base defense. Players like cornerback Carlos Rogers will be blitzing more often than ever before (op. cit.) which is probably just as well, we have established that he cannot catch a ball thrown into his hands so maybe playing him more like a small strong safety would make sense.
CEO Mike Shanahan canceled the afternoon practice, instead the team held player meetings, presumably inside in the air conditioning.
Washington Post Training Camp Tracker: Cornerback Justin Tryon, 2008 fourth round pick, was stuck behind Carlos Rogers, DeAngelo Hall and Fred Smoot for his first two years, by the end of last season we saw Justin as the regular nickel back in place of Fred Smoot, and it was largely Justin's improvement that rendered Fred Smoot moot. This season Justin will still be playing behind Carlos and DeAngelo on the front line, and competing for time at third cornerback with 2009 third round pick Kevin Barnes and free agent signee and 2002 first round pick Phillip Buchanon, Phillip has morphed into a journeyman. Among the Redskinserati, Justin looked better than Kevin Barnes last season, I confess I was unable to distinguish one from the other.
Image macro by lifetime Eagles fan, season ticket holder and Curly R reader/lurker Wilbert Montgomery from an image by John McDonnell / Washington Post from here. From left to right is Philadelphia's offensive line featuring left tackle Winston Justice, left guard Stacy Andrews, center Nick Cole, right guard Todd Herremans and right tackle Jason Peters, an awesome front five that Albert will see twice this season.