August 07, 2010
For the first nine days of Washington Redskins training camp, Albert Haynesworth(notes) had been limited to consulting with strength coaches and watching his teammates practice. Now, finally, he's passed the conditioning test that will allow him to take the field. A balky knee had prevented him from doing do before, but the formerly dominant defensive tackle was able to complete the two 300-yard shuttle runs in the time allotted this morning. He did so as staffers prepped a V.I.P. tent for Fan Appreciation Day. Now, the fans will get more than they probably expected - they'll get to see Haynesworth actually do something.
Haynesworth's inability to complete the test before had become a national punchline for many reasons - the $21 million roster bonus he accepted in April, his refusal to participate on OTAs due to his subsequent unhappiness with the team's switch to a 3-4 scheme, and the sheer number of people who have made viral videos of their own test completions. The Hickory Crawdads, a single-A team under the Texas Rangers umbrella, set up an Albert Haynesworth Conditioning Night, in which any fan who passed the test Haynesworth could not at the time would win season tickets. (True to the Haynesworth spirit, the team has already re-scheduled the event once).
In any case, now that Haynesworth is ready for practice, he'll apparently do so this afternoon. Word now is that Haynesworth's new knowledge of how defensive coordinator Jim Haslett plans to use him in three-man fronts has the player happier with the new scheme than he was before - per Redskins Insider's Jason Reid, it was the fear of the unknown that kept Haynesworth away. This means that, as he said all along, Haslett plans to use Haynesworth in different roles, and put him in as a 3-4 end, which plays more to Haynesworth's pass-rushing talents.
That should put an end to all the unnecessary drama, but these are the Washington Redskins - the soap opera's always there on a "next man up" basis.
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