The League

Dr. Mark Adickes
Orthopedic surgeon, former Redskin

Dr. Mark Adickes

Former Redskins' offensive lineman turned Harvard- trained orthopedic surgeon

Let's be professional

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Albert Haynesworth is arguably the best athlete of his size on the planet. Some would argue on behalf of "The Big Aristotle", Shaquille O'Neal, but if we pitted them against each other in one of those 1970's Superstars competitions I have no doubt that Haynesworth would win...if he was in shape. Therein lies the problem. After refusing to participate in the Redskins formal off-season workout program, the former All-Pro defensive tackle obviously spent his time away from football without the aid of a personal trainer. In the unlikely event he did acquire the services of a strength coach and they happen to be reading this blog, please promptly return all monies to Mr. Haynseworth care of the Washington Redskins. Your program DOES NOT WORK.

When Haynesworth worked out for NFL teams the artificial turf had to be cleaned due to the scouts' excessive drool pooling on the ground creating a health hazard. At 6'6" and 320 pounds this amazing athlete ran a 4.8 forty, had a 39" vertical jump and an 8'7" broad jump. All ridiculous numbers for a defensive lineman. He gave offensive lineman fits from the start, improving every season eventually earning All-Pro honors following the 2007 and 2008 seasons. He then signed a seven-year contract with the Redskins for 100 million dollars of which 41 million was guaranteed. He showed flashes of brilliance last year but certainly not the consistency expected of a man capable of winning defensive player of the year honors.

This offseason Dan Snyder brought in Bruce Allen and Mike Shanahan to take over football operations. Shanahan then hired Jim Haslett to run his defense. Much to the dismay of Haynesworth, Haslett promptly switched the defensive scheme to the 3-4 forcing an unwanted position change and the rest is history. So who's to blame and is there a way out of this mess?

Shanahan entered the scene with the goal of winning a championship. To that end he picked the best man available to run his defense and correctly allowed him to choose the scheme he believed most likely to succeed. The talent in place was thoroughly evaluated while making this decision. Shanahan is not the kind of coach who would fret about the feelings of his players in this setting. He would expect them to be "Pros", strap on the pads, and function within the new system to the best of their abilities. When the Redskins' new head coach received push-back from his star defensive tackle I believe he wanted to trade him. Due to Haynesworth's subpar 2009 performance and exorbitant price tag no serious suitors were identified. Rather than coddle the defensive star, Shanahan has taken the "you have to play to see your pay" approach. Haynesworth knows that if he sits out the Redskins will sue to recoup some of the guaranteed money. In order to keep collecting a pay check Albert has dutifully attended training camp.

In a thinly veiled passive aggressive strategy Haynesworth arrived in such poor shape that he is of little use to anyone. He began camp by failing to pass a conditioning test on multiple tries. Once he finally passed the test he hurt his knee and most recently has borrowed a page from Brian Cushing's playbook in that his rhabdomyolysis could be caused by too much training. Between Shanahan and Haynesworth it is clear which one of these men is behaving as a professional.

How a man can collect roughly 15 million dollars each year and not make a sincere effort is beyond comprehension. Haynesworth seems content to produce little and distract much as the season progresses. If that attitude persists I would certainly get rid of him no matter the cost and lack of compensation. That said, a healthy motivated Albert Haynesworth could still become the NFL defensive player of the year. The Redskins' management team needs to come up with a comprehensive plan to hire counselors, lawyers, doctors and trainers to bring Haynesworth back into the fold and fire him up to compete. There has to be somebody out there who can motivate this mammoth defensive tackle to perform up to his potential. Who makes the most sense to fill this crucial role and end this impasse? Tony Robbins is a good speaker but unlikely to provide anything substantive. Joel Osteen could help with his self esteem but neglect his on-field performance. Thankfully there is a good motivational speaker residing in DC who needs a good speech to take the focus off the economy. Does anyone have the number for the White House?

By Dr. Mark Adickes  |  August 24, 2010; 9:02 AM ET  | Category:  NFL , Washington Redskins Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Time to cut bait | Next: How many games will Albert play?

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100 million dollar prima dona. YOU'VE BEEN PAID!!! SHUT YOUR MOUTH....GET IN SHAPE....DO YOUR JOB !!!!

Posted by: cowbell | August 24, 2010 12:02 PM

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