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Albert Haynesworth speaks about the 3-4, offseason workouts

Albert Haynesworth confirmed earlier today that he’s not keen on playing nose tackle in the Redskins’ new 3-4 alignment. In his first public interview of the offseason, which aired on Sirius NFL Radio, he said he’d rather play defensive end.

Alas, these tough economic times preclude me from a satellite radio subscription, but thankfully the good folks at the station have provided a transcript.

Haynesworth’s comments certainly are thought-provoking, and I’ll try to post my reaction later. For now, digest for yourself Haynesworth’s take on the 3-4 switch and not participating with his teammates in offseason workouts…

On the switch from the 4-3 defense to the 3-4:

Host/Adam Schein: “Are the Redskins moving to a 3-4 and is that something that disappoints you?”

Haynesworth: “Well, it’s something I’ve never played before so it’s kinda, or it’s really different.”

Schein: “Is that something where you’ve expressed to the coaches that you’re completely miscast? When I look at Albert Haynesworth when you compete year-in and year-out for Defensive Player of the Year it’s because of what you do at tackle in the 4-3. Have you talked to Mike Shanahan or Jim Haslett about how you’ve never played in the 3-4?”

Haynesworth: “I think they know that. I really haven’t had a whole lot of conversations about it or whatever [with] them. You know, just, I don’t know, I guess whatever. I don’t know what you want me to do or say. I’m under contract there so nothing I can really say about it.”

Host/Rich Gannon: “Do you think, if they make the switch, you’re a guy who as you’ve said never played the 3-4. I don’t know that you’d want to play the nose or that would really take advantage of your strengths and your abilities. I don’t see them really moving you outside to play the end position on normal down and distances. Do you think that there would come a situation where maybe you wouldn’t be a good fit for the Redskins?”

Haynesworth: “Well, I don’t want to really say that. I mean, we’ve got a good coach and all that stuff. I’m just going to be, whatever they ask me to do, that’s what I’m going to do. I’m not going to be a distraction or anything so I’m just going to do what they ask me to do.”

Schein: “Where would you see it, end or tackle in a 3-4 defense?”

Haynesworth: “Well, when I used to talk to my coach with the Titans, Jim Washburn, he used make jokes saying I was a big man, if we reference basketball, he was like, I’m a center but he said I always want to be out there on the perimeter shooting threes. … So if it was me, in this situation I would say definitely end, you know, definitely end.”

Schein: “You don’t want to be that guy in the middle of a 3-4 defense acting as a clogger, you want to go make some plays?”

Haynesworth: “Right, exactly, and plus, you look at all the nose tackles in the NFL they’re all the same type guys. Like me, I’m 6’6”, 330, 340 pounds, whatever, and then most of those guys are short, stubbier, pretty much like stump type guys. So I don’t think I’m built to be a nose tackle to be honest.”


On his off-season conditioning:

Gannon: “What is your plan for this offseason and are you at all surprised that there’s already been some criticism about you having not been part of the workouts?”

Haynesworth: “My goal is, my plan is I’m going to work out with my trainer that I’ve had the last few years. The years I’ve trained with him I’ve had my best years in football, NFL football. So what I plan on this year, because last year I worked out with the Redskins and the year that we had and all that stuff wasn’t great by any means. Very disappointed with my play and stuff like that so I’m getting back to basics, what got me to be one of the top defensive guys in the NFL, and that’s what I plan on doing.”

Schein: “Mike Shanahan, Bruce Allen, Coach [Jim] Haslett, are they on board? What was their reaction when you told them this plan?”

Haynesworth: “Well, I told Mike this and he was like, ‘Well, I wanted you to train with our guys’ and all that stuff and I said, ‘I totally respect that and all that but to get me back to where I want to be I need the serious training. I need the stuff that got me where I’m at.’ We do a lot of specialized stuff for me, a lot of training. My trainer, he comes up with some great stuff that’s just for me, basically, not just maybe a defensive lineman, but just for me. Stuff that can improve on to help me get stronger and things that’ll help me focus better. So nothing against them or whatever but if I want to get back to being the best defensive tackle in the NFL then I need to do this.”

Gannon: “Are you at all concerned about maybe getting off on the wrong foot with the Redskins?”

Haynesworth: “My thing is they pay me to play football. As long as I’m dominating and being that great player then that’s all that matters. I mean, no matter how I get there, as long as they want me doing that then that’s what matters.”

Schein: “What was Mike [Shanahan]’s reaction when you told him the plan? What was his reaction when you left after that first day?”

Haynesworth: “Nothing really. We talked. The thing I really like about him, man, he’s an awesome coach and even better person. Like, you can just go and talk to him and be honest with him and open up to him. He’ll talk to you and tell you everything. It’s unbelievable. It’s almost a different feel, it’s a completely different feel from last year with the coaches and stuff. So just talking to him, it was great. I mean, he said, ‘Well I don’t really agree with it but I respect you for telling me.’ So that’s kind of what it was.”


On new head coach Mike Shanahan and the way the organization is headed:

Haynesworth: “I think with [Shanahan] being at the helm it’s going to be awesome. I don’t think you’ll hear anything from Dan Snyder as far as commenting on the team other than maybe some little stuff like regular owners. I think it’s all going to be in Mike’s hands and Bruce Allen’s hands.”