Shanahan on Haynesworth: 'lazy, lack of passion'

Redskins coach is called 'conniving'

FILE - In this Aug. 21, 2010, file photo, Washington Redskins defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth looks on before an NFL preseason football game against Baltimore Ravens in Landover, Md. People with knowledge of the negotiations say that the Washington Redskins and the Tennessee Titans are in discussions about a trade of disgruntled defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth. The people spoke to The Associated Press on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2010, on condition of anonymity because the talks are confidential. Washington signed Haynesworth to a $100 million contract in 2009 as a free agent, and the tackle accepted a $21 million bonus in April.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Photo by Susan Walsh

FILE - In this Aug. 21, 2010, file photo, Washington Redskins defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth looks on before an NFL preseason football game against Baltimore Ravens in Landover, Md. People with knowledge of the negotiations say that the Washington Redskins and the Tennessee Titans are in discussions about a trade of disgruntled defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth. The people spoke to The Associated Press on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2010, on condition of anonymity because the talks are confidential. Washington signed Haynesworth to a $100 million contract in 2009 as a free agent, and the tackle accepted a $21 million bonus in April. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

ASHBURN, Va. — Mike Shanahan leveled a scathing critique at Albert Haynesworth on Thursday, saying the former Washington Redskins defensive lineman was “lazy” and had a “lack of passion” and “lack of character.”

The Redskins coach was responding to comments made this week by Haynesworth, who told Dave Hooker of Tennessee Sports Radio that Shanahan is “conniving,” self-centered and will run quarterback Robert Griffin III “into the ground.”

Asked for his reaction, Shanahan began his answer and then stopped himself and started over — because he wanted to “say it the right way.”

Then he hammered home a zinger.

“When you don’t get along with somebody as a head coach or an assistant coach, it usually falls into one of those areas — lazy, lack of passion, and a lot of times lack of character,” Shanahan said. “And he fits all three.”

Haynesworth, a former player at the University of Tennessee, signed a $100 million free agent contract with the Redskins in 2009, but he and Shanahan clashed frequently after the coach arrived in Washington a year later. Haynesworth became an NFL punch line when he needed 10 days to pass a conditioning test at the start of training camp and lost his starting job. He was eventually traded for a fifth-round draft pick and is perhaps the biggest free agent bust in league history.

The latest back-and-forth began when recently retired Redskins tight end Chris Cooley, who now has his own radio show, called Haynesworth “an awful human being.” Haynesworth then went on the radio to say that Cooley “sounds as stupid as he looks” and then went after Shanahan, pointing out the coach’s lack of success in the playoffs with the Denver Broncos after John Elway retired.

“He’s conniving and everything like that. ... I mean, the guy is all ‘me, me, me.’ ... They’re always going to try to blame RG3 for something,” Haynesworth said. “It’s never going to be the head coach’s fault. Ever.”

It’s unusual for Shanahan to respond to such vitriol from a former player, but this time he did so with a smile.

“You usually take the high road as much as you can, I usually do,” Shanahan said. “But he’s been talking quite a bit, over the last couple of years, so I thought at least I’d be honest with you guys and tell you how I feel.”

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Comments » 7

RoadTrip writes:

Wow - I can't believe I just read this article. Sure can tell it is Halloween. Unexplainable things are happening.

TNlogfire writes:

Haynesworth was an under-achieving bozo who can barely hang on to that 100 mill...just axe him, he'll tell you...8-)

atnvol#283282 writes:

Many TN fans know that Shanahan is spot on.....Fulmer had to pamper and coddle the big brat the whole time he was here at TN. They don't coddle in the NFL and I am sure that irritated Haynesworth. And as far as Shanahan stating that he had character issues, well that was put up for public display when he stomped on the helmetless head of one of his opponents. I am all Vol, but this guy is a absolute disgrace and I hope he never comes back to "The Hill".

manoffewwords writes:

Overpaid ungrateful moron.

IndianOutlaw writes:

in response to atnvol#283282:

Many TN fans know that Shanahan is spot on.....Fulmer had to pamper and coddle the big brat the whole time he was here at TN. They don't coddle in the NFL and I am sure that irritated Haynesworth. And as far as Shanahan stating that he had character issues, well that was put up for public display when he stomped on the helmetless head of one of his opponents. I am all Vol, but this guy is a absolute disgrace and I hope he never comes back to "The Hill".

Spot on

ProudVol writes:

I never understood why he was such a hot commodity and especially why anyone would sign him to a $100 million contract. I remember him here at UT. Yes, he was a freak athletically, but he really did not do that much. We had lots of great defensive lineman during that period and he never stood out to me. Wikipedia says he had a total of 5 sacks in 3 years at UT and that agrees with my memory.

Tao_of_Tennessee writes:

Taking the discussion out of the sports world context, my goal in life was to make a hundred million dollars without being dishonest, deceitful, or unlawful. I never ruled out being lazy. Stomping somebodies head while they were on the ground was a little out of bounds though.

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