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The defense of Haynesworth continues

11/4/2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

In case you missed it, Redskins defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth is apparently having a remarkable season. He told reporters at Redskins Park today that everything he predicted upon his signing last March ($41 mil guaranteed) had come true. But he admitted one glaring omission:

"I remember you asked me that question when I first signed, and I said me being here will help other guys' numbers," said Haynesworth. "Don't reflect just off my numbers. But what I should have said is we'll get some more wins. That's the thing I failed to mention, but everything else I said has happened."

So do Redskins fans take any solace in the fact that Haynesworth has played relatively well during an awful season? Jason Reid of the Washington Post pointed out that the Skins already have 18 sacks this season after finishing with 24 in '08. He credits the presence of Haynesworth for causing the increase. After watching several Skins games, I'm not sure I necessarily buy that.

Haynesworth was supposed to help transform the defense into a dominant unit. I haven't seen anything close to dominance. The Redskins were handed one of the easiest opening stretches in the history of the league (seriously) and they found a way to lose five of those games. In the early games that I witnessed, Haynesworth was often too winded to stay on the field when the Redskins needed him most.

I realize the Skins' offense put their defense in bad situations, but it's still strange to me that so many folks are going out of their way to justify the Haynesworth signing? He was a brilliant player for the Titans the past two seasons, but he's not going to single-handedly take you to the playoffs.

The Redskins have made crippling decisions in free agency and the draft during the Snyder era, so we shouldn't be shocked that they've ended up in this predicament. Snyder and executive vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato have an inflated opinion of their own personnel, explaining why they're always "one player away."

Haynesworth is one of the best defensive players in the league. And that's why there's no need to keep defending him when he's not meeting expectations.