There really is not an easy way to put this, but Coach Mike Shanahan needs to get past the conditioning test. Albert Haynesworth is a $21 million a year professional defensive lineman. Arguably, he could be the best defensive lineman in the game.
Granted, last season was not his best. Not to mention the fact that this off-season has been full of a roller coaster ride of emotions and drama throughout the Redskins organization and now the Redskins locker room. Camp has already officially begun. Haynesworth is unable to practice because he failed to successfully complete a 300-yard conditioning test. Now, ESPN and almost ever y other media network is making a point to have sportscasters and average Joes off the street running this test. Everyone is making a complete mockery of Haynesworth and the Redskins.
Shanahan, it’s time to get past all of that. Forget the embarrassment and lower the pride. It’s time to put a saddle back on this horse and ride him out to a playoff berth. The Skin’s fans are dying for a successful franchise again. A retired coach was brought in to the franchise to take over a struggling team and organization. It was probably best for everyone involved when he went back to racing and left football once and for all. This was just one failed experiment gone awry.
Shanahan, it’s time to move forward. As a new coach, Shanahan is trying to instill a sense of respect and discipline to each of his players. Instead of creating an environment where all of the players worked together and brought Haynesworth up to where he needed to be, he has split the locker room into separate factions and completely alienated one of the best players in football. Even when Haynesworth is able to practice again and “earns” his starting position on the defensive line, the rest of the team has already passed judgment. It is very unlikely that this prized stallion will run at 100% for the Redskins defense. This is not a recipe for success!
Shanahan, the Redskins are ready! This conference has talented teams that are all competing for a playoff run, NFC Championship and NFL Super Bowl trophy. The Redskins have most of the major positions solidified to make a serious run this season. With the signings of Donovan McNabb and Santana Moss, the offense is geared to provide a stellar offensive production in 2010. The offensive backfield is already designed for a phenomenal running game with arguably three players that would be starting backs on over half of the NFL Teams.
It is time for this team and the coaches to move past all of the drama and move forward. Bring Haynesworth into the picture or let him go. Either way, this organization has a much brighter future ahead of it than the ugly cloud of embarrassment that has been cast upon it. Coach Shanahan may have the best of intentions, but it is time to put these scare-tactics aside and bring the entire team together as one cohesive unit.