Former defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth wrote in The Players Tribune that playing for the Redskins — who signed him to a $100 million contract — caused him to lose his “passion for football,” Will Brinson of CBS Sports reports.
Haynesworth writes about meeting with Mike Shanahan (who will now get an extra chance at jumping into the media fray!) and learning the then-Skins coach simply wanted him “grab the center,” “let the linebackers run free” and “eat space.”
Haynesworth writes that he was stunned to learn about his responsibilities given his contract and eventually fell out of love with the game.
“You will lose your passion for football in Washington, and it will be impossible to get back,” Haynesworth writes.
Hindsight is always 20/20 (well, unless it’s 50/50) but clearly Washington was a bad fit. Haynesworth’s other piece of advice for his 14-year-old self? Stick with Schwartz.
“If nothing else, listen to me on this, Albert: Do not leave the Tennessee Titans. Your defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz is a mastermind,” Haynesworth writes. “No matter how much I tell you this, you’ll probably never realize it until your career is over, but it’s true. You’re like a system quarterback. You thrive in a very specific scheme.”
Other interesting notes from Haynesworth:
•He writes about not trusting a psychologist who helped him at Tennessee before eventually becoming his financial advisor and who is “going to take millions from you.”
•He writes about the moment when he stomped on Andre Gurode’s face and how he reacted before and after.
•He writes about becoming happy after football, which is interesting.