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Redskins' conditioning test called tough but standard

Former Washington Redskins offensive lineman Ross Tucker said Friday the conditioning test that the Redskins are requiring defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth to pass before practicing is a "pretty standard" test used league-wide.

But Tucker also said the test is "the toughest" of those regularly used by coaches to determine if players are in shape.

Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan is requiring Haynesworth, who did not participate in the team's offseason conditioning program, to pass the conditioning test before alowing him to participate in training camp. The test, according to the Redskins, consists of a pair of 300-yard shuttle runs--25-yard sprints, out and back, six times. A lineman such as Haynesworth must complete the first shuttle run in 70 seconds and then, after a 3-1/2-minute break, complete the second in 73 seconds.

Any player who failed to participate in at least half the offseason conditioning program must pass the test to practice, under Shanahan's policy.

"That's pretty standard, actually. [Bill] Parcells used to do something like that," Tucker said. "And when I was in Washington one year, they had us run that. We had to do that at least one day a week. I think Dallas, with Parcells, had to run the width of the field [as part of the shuttle drill], 53 yards, and I want to say they had to do it in a minute. This one doesn't sound unreasonable to me.

"But it's tougher than the 50-yard [shuttles] because of the number of turns," Tucker said. "When I was in Buffalo, we had to do eight 68-yard sprints in like 10 seconds each. In New England, it was two sets of 10 sprints, 40-yard sprints, with 30 seconds in between, and you had to do them in like six seconds each. This one, it's not out of this world. There are people that do it. But of the ones that are used, it's the toughest one. And a lot of times, if they really want a guy to pass, they'll fudge the timing the second time he takes it and they'll make sure he passes."

Tucker spent time with the Redskins, Cowboys, Bills and Patriots.

Haynesworth failed the tests on Thursday and Friday.

Brian Mitchell, the former Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants running back and kick returner, said he also had experience with the 300-yard shuttle run as a conditioning test, when he was with the Eagles.

"We did something similar to that in Philadelphia," Mitchell said. "The Eagles had us run the 300-yard shuttles. We also had to run 100-yard sprints 16 times. I don't know what Shanahan normally does, but I have seen people use this one. You have 70 seconds for 300 yards? When I was in Philly, I think the big guys, the linemen, had to run 100 yards in 17 or 18 seconds, maybe 20 seconds at the most. I don't see it as being that difficult. That's what I've been saying all along: 'Yeah, Albert Haynesworth lost weight, but is he in shape?' "

One former NFL executive said that the Redskins have "made it impossible" for Haynesworth to pass the test, but speculated that Shanahan might actually be trying to do Haynesworth a favor.

"All of his teammates are mad at the guy," said the executive, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he did not want to be viewed as prying into Redskin business. "But now they look at this and think it's unfair, and there's some sympathy for him in the locker room. He gets back in the good graces. Plus, this is a veteran player that you don't want to have banging around every practice right from the first day of training camp anyway."

By Mark Maske  |  July 30, 2010; 2:57 PM ET  | Category:  Redskins Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Not that I'm sympathetic to Haynesworth, but is it really fair that he is the only player on the team that has to pass this test? Other players have commented that they probably could not pass the test. It is clearly a punitive measure, and it could backfire as it is causing a huge distraction that is overshadowing everything else in camp. I would not be surprised if Hansworth files a grievance with the union, and that would open up a whole new set of problems. I think Shanahan has proved his point, and he should stop this circus.

Posted by: allen1301 | July 31, 2010 12:50 PM

It's not as easy as it looks. I had my kids try it out.

But then again, we are not being paid $100 million dollars either...

Posted by: FumbledReturns | July 30, 2010 8:31 PM

By the way...Fat Albert wasn't in shape last year, either. You may recall that he played very few downs per game and when he came out after a couple of downs, he looked like he had been put through a wringer. Glad to see we're not babying the Danny's mistakes any more.

Posted by: theoldrot | July 30, 2010 7:08 PM

My wife is not a football fan, especially not a Redskins fan. But...she has been following the Haynesworth situation. Her verdict: He is a spoiled brat and cannot get enough disrespect. Fat Albert is making new friends all the time with his behavior.

Posted by: theoldrot | July 30, 2010 7:05 PM

This can only HELP him. He gets humbled AND in shape AND gains some sympathy from his mates all at the same time. No losers here.

Posted by: kahlua87 | July 30, 2010 4:30 PM

Let the whining begin. He's obviously not in shape

Posted by: kidvid | July 30, 2010 3:19 PM

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