The Elephant in Maroon

admin | Haynesworth, Players | 08 27th, 2010  |  Comments Off

Even when discussing the positive notes of the Redskins off-season, besides the depressing fact that the high point may be the 42-17 drubbing of the lowly Buffalo Bills in Preseason Week 1 action, it’s hard for anyone to mention Washington football without the massive shadow of Albert Haynesworth somehow clouding the conversation. As opposed to the “elephant in the room,” which everyone has on their mind but no one makes public mention of, “the elephant in maroon” has ballooned into quite the opposite situation, permeating all media coverage of the Redskins. Starting with his initial opposition to implementing the 3-4 defense, subsequently collecting his money before making demands to be moved, Haynesworth has grabbed unwanted headlines all summer long. His discontent was continued as his oversized frame was noticeably absent from Redskins off-season workout programs. When Haynesworth finally set foot on-field to practice with his teammates come time for training camp, the multimillion dollar athlete (loose use of the word) was unable to pass a requisite conditioning test. It’s fair to mention this test is far from the famed Jerry Rice iron man workout up and down Bay Area hills, merely a timed 300-yard shuttle run to be completed twice, with necessary completion time adjusted by position. In fact, the test wouldn’t have even been an issue had he simply shown up for the off-season conditioning program.Haynesworth’s off-season gone wrong is culminating with speculation over how much the big fellow has actually practiced in the seasons past, not to mention the revelation of a mysterious case of “rhabdomyolysis,” a medical condition that has caused him to miss three days of practice this Preseason. Shanahan claims if he can’t practice, he won’t play, no matter what he has gotten away with in the pass, and seemed to make light of his condition, referencing it as a headache. Bear in mind, Mike Shanahan was not with the Skins when Dan Snyder decided to pay Fat Albert the big bucks, and the relationship between the two has been strained in the head coach’s first few months. It would serve the Redskins well, players, coaches and fans alike, if the general conversation surrounding “the elephant in maroon” died down as the regular season quickly approaches.

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