Mike Shanahan responds to Albert Haynesworth’s criticisms

October 31, 2013

Mike Shanahan said the only players he hasn’t gotten along with are ones who are lazy and lack passion for football. (Johnathan Newton/The Washington Post)

Mike Shanahan had a rather pointed response to former Washington Redskins defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth, who this week blasted Redskins coach and described him as “conniving” and self-centered.

It’s no secret that Haynesworth and Shanahan didn’t have a great relationship and banged heads during the 2010 season when the coach came to town. But Haynesworth  considered the biggest free agent bust in franchise history and whom the Redskins traded to the Patriots for a low draft pick  this week crushed Shanahan more than he ever has.

Asked on Thursday if he had heard about Haynesworth’s comments, Shanahan chuckled and said, “Let me put it this way.” He paused, grabbed hold of the mic on the podium and paused before proceeding.

Shanahan said, “Let me put it this way, the only people I really haven’t gotten along with since I’ve been a head coach and an assistant coach is someone that’s lazy, and No. 2, someone that’s lazy and they may lack character, or they’re lazy and lack passion for the game. Those are really the only people I haven’t gotten along with as a head coach or as an assistant coach. And so that’s what you’re looking for.

Albert Haynesworth
Albert Haynesworth’s time with the Redskins is not looked at fondly by either side. (Mark Humphrey/Associated Press)

“And through my years,” he continued, “people that are lazy and have lacked passion for their job, they don’t go into the next year of their job, and if they do, they don’t last the next year. And so the people that I’ve looked at that come back and complain and do some of the things that you do when you don’t get along with someone as a head coach or an assistant coach, usually falls in one of those couple areas: lazy, lack of passion, and lot of times, a lack of character, and he fits all three.”

Shanahan joked that he would be going to Haynesworth’s new restaurant that he recently opened in Knoxville. Then he concluded, before heading back to his office, “You usually take the high road as much as you can, but I thought that he’s been talking quite a bit, I thought, over the last couple years. So, I thought I’d at least be honest with you guys and kind of tell you how I feel.”

Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at mike.jones@washpost.com with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag on Tuesdays.

What’s ahead:

● Kyle Shanahan’s critique of his play-calling against the Broncos.

From The Post:

D.C. Sports Bog: Haynesworth tees off on Cooley | And Shanahan | More Bog

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Forbath uses AFL-width goal posts | NFLPA says Meriweather is sorry

Reid: Will RGIII ever be elite? | Jenkins: What’s missing in the king’s speech

Redskins’ passing attack is suffering from lack of playmakers

Follow: @MikeJonesWaPo | @MarkMaske | @Insider | Insider on Facebook

Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.
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Mike Jones · October 31, 2013

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