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Haynesworth sounds off on Blache, defense after being sent home
In Washington's scheme, interior linemen, for the most part, are required to maintain their gap responsibility while occupying blockers in an effort to help linebackers make plays. And linemen are not permitted to rush as much as Haynesworth would prefer. "What [team officials] told me in the early hours of February  is that, 'We're going to let you play,' " Haynesworth said of Washington's sales pitch on the first day of free agency.
"We're going to change the scheme up, make it around you. We want you to do what you do. They might have changed a little bit [but] they don't let me rush. They call what Blache calls 'Hot,' a basic pass rush, maybe a few times a game. And half the time that's changed because of some formation. I disagree with their whole scheme."
Several times, Haynesworth has initiated closed-door discussions with Blache about the system, offering ideas on how the team might be more productive, people in the organization familiar with Haynesworth's actions said. But Blache has not been receptive, and the situation reached a boiling point in the last game.
"What made me do this [criticize the team's leadership and defensive scheme after the last game] is . . . he tells me, 'Get out of my face,' " Haynesworth said of Blache. "When I go up to him in the game it's like, 'Hey, we need to do this because this will help.' He tells me, 'Get out of my face. Go sit down. Go sit down.' Like I'm a kid or something like that. That's when I said what I said after the game. That's what made me respond the way that I did."
Blache is in his 22nd season in the NFL and sixth with the Redskins. Widely regarded as one of the league's top defensive minds, he has helped Washington's defense to four top-10 finishes. He has not spoken to the media since Oct. 8.
Haynesworth, though, is not the first high-profile player to feel constricted in his system. Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Taylor was unhappy playing for Blache in 2008, his only season with the team, people within the organization said, and there has been grumbling in the locker room this season about Blache's approach.
"They don't want to take input. They don't," Haynesworth said. "[Blache] . . . doesn't want to change. I mean, I'm watching film, it's like, 'Dude, this day and age, you get killed the way that we're running stuff.' And we've got way more talent [than the Titans].
"We got great corners and safeties here that can play if they were used right. They make a million checks before the ball is snapped. Guys are sitting there thinking instead of reacting. Guys are sitting there thinking instead of playing. When you're sitting there thinking about what you're going to do when you're trying to run, you don't go as fast. When it's natural and it comes to you, you do it. You know? It's instinct. You know what I mean? What they want us to do is think and be robots. This is just ridiculous."
In 14 games with the Titans in 2008, Haynesworth had a personal-best 8.5 sacks, was credited with 51 tackles, including 41 unassisted, and had three forced fumbles. An ankle injury has sidelined Haynesworth in three of Washington's last five games. He has 35 tackles, including 29 unassisted, four sacks and no forced fumbles in 11 games.
"You brought me here to make us better and to create the havoc that I create. But you're not letting me do the things that we did" in Tennessee, Haynesworth said.
Zorn said Haynesworth would return to practice Saturday and would be allowed to play Sunday, but that was news to Haynesworth. "I don't know," said Haynesworth, who is due a $21 million roster bonus in March.
"I love the game and love to play, but it's up to them. They're the coaches. I don't know [if he would return to practice Saturday]. I guess, unless [Zorn] doesn't want me to be there. That's what he said today. He [didn't] want me to be there."