Wednesday, October 21, 2009
NFC East Underachiever: Albert Haynesworth Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
Unfortunately, there are plenty of candidates in what was once (three weeks ago) regarded as the top division in the league. But Redskins defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth receives the dubious distinction based on the insane amount of money he's receiving. For $41 million guaranteed, I think you'd like to see him make more of a difference.
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
The Redskins expected more from Albert Haynesworth when they signed him in the offseason.
I don't really care about his numbers -- 17 tackles and 1.5 sacks -- because his presence alone was supposed to strike fear in the hearts of offensive coordinators. So far, Haynesworth appears to wear down in the second half of games and he appears to have the injury bug. The guy has rarely made it through an entire season, but he was still an unbelievable player for the Titans.
I don't even notice him that much on the Redskins. Personnel czar Vinny Cerrato thought that Haynesworth would be a catalytic player on the defense, setting up Andre Carter and Brian Orakpo for sacks because of his ability to occupy blockers. I'm not ready to call the signing a bust, but he hasn't been nearly as effective in Greg Blache's defense as he was in Jim Schwartz's.
This is man who had a contract dangled in front of him when he lived in Nashville. Now Haynesworth has been paid in full. He's capable of disrupting an offense, but I'd like to see him force a fumble or blow up several plays. Right now, his most impressive stat is three pass deflections. It's impossible to defend his play right now. He's being paid like the best defender in the game, but I can name three Redskins players who are having better years than him.
Every team has an underachiever or two -- but Haynesworth is the poster child for underachieving this season. And I think he would admit that if you asked him.