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Friday, January 29, 2010
Haynesworth will be fine in 3-4, says his ex-coach

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

Washington Post writer Rick Maese had the good sense to ask Albert Haynesworth's former defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz about how the defensive tackle will perform in a 3-4 scheme. Schwartz, now the head coach of the Lions, is one of the best in the league at explaining concepts to players -- and reporters.

"There's a lot of different kind of 3-4s," Schwartz told Maese. "You could do a 3-4 where you're using space. There's a stunting 3-4, where you're going at a player, which is similar to what [Haynesworth] has done. You could do a combination of both. Chicago is a combination. Pittsburgh a bit more of a stunting 3-4, a blitzing 3-4. San Diego is a little bit more of a big nose. New England, Cleveland, Miami and those guys are more of a hunt and pound. I think, Haslett, with his experience, if he goes 3-4, he'll figure out the best way to make it work."

Schwartz's overriding message was that Haynesworth is talented enough to be successful in any scheme -- and I tend to agree with that assessment. In Jim Haslett's 3-4, there's a good chance that Haynesworth will be able to play nose tackle and defensive end.

"He'll adapt," said Schwartz of Haynesworth. "There's always an adjustment period. His whole career, he had one scheme. He had his same position coach his entire career, the same defensive coordinator his entire career, the same head coach his entire career, and suddenly it all changed in a year. But he's talented, and he'll adapt and he'll be just as good in another scheme."