WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – Embittered ex-NFLer Albert Haynesworth has set out on a path of destruction, torching whatever last vestiges remained, if any, between he and the Redskins organization.
Haynesworth, who signed a seven-year, $100 million contract with the Redskins in 2009, walked away from the franchise after just two seasons, with $41 million guaranteed in hand.
He went on Tennessee Sports Radio Wednesday, ripping current Skins head coach Mike Shanahan, former teammate Chris Cooley, and the entire organization for being more about self-promotion than football.
Fred Smoot, his former teammate in Washington, somewhat came to his aid in an interview with 106.7 The Fan’s Holden and Danny on Thursday, saying he can relate to the feeling of playing in a city in which he’s not wanted, and the bitter taste that leaves in the mouths of the organization, its fanbase, and the player himself.
“It just puts me in mind of my experience at the Minnesota Vikings,” Smoot said, when asked what thoughts came to mind when he heard the comments. “You know, you can go to an organization and not truly fit in there, and not truly like the place, and your play shows that. And I think that’s what happened to Albert. I think he came here, I think he wanted to play well, I think he wanted to get along with everybody, but it just didn’t happen for him here. And I hate it for him, because he’s actually a good person. I got along with him fine.”
Smoot insisted however, on the importance of following the orders of your coaches, especially when you’re getting paid $41 million.
“You got to do what the coaches tell you to do,” Smoot said. “And I was one of those players, with being a Redskin, it helped me survive coaching changes. And when you go through coaching changes, the thing you hope, is you fit the new scheme. And actually, Albert playing a 3-4 with his skill set, he doesn’t fit a 3-4, so I totally understand where he’s coming from.
“He’s a more explosive, up-the-field 4-3 guy, and that’s what he always played in. And when that change happened, I think his exit was imminent. Plus he hadn’t lived up to his contract at that time, so it was a bad taste in both sides’ mouth, so I think it was a clean break for both sides, I just hate he didn’t get his career back on track.”
But Smoot wasn’t so bold as to dismiss Big Al as a bust, with regards to his premature exit from Washington.
“I wouldn’t say he was a bust,” he said. “I just think he got here, never got comfortable, I would say never got along with every last one of his teammates, never really became superly a part of the team, and that affects your play. I tell a lot of people this, you know the NFL and being a Hall of Famer requires a lot of luck; that you have the right luck to fall on the right team, with the right coaching, with the right teammates, at the right time, so I just think Redskins and Albert Haynesworth just did not mix right, and therefore, we didn’t get the results we wanted and he didn’t get the results he wanted.”