“The first day I get to Washington, that morning before, they’re like yeah, we’re gonna design our defense just like Tennessee, because we want you to let loose,” Haynesworth said, mentioning the proposed personnel moves. “So I was like ok, that’s great. And then the very first practice, we started doing all this different stuff that we hadn’t done. After that practice, I asked the D coordinator, hey, do you know are we gonna do some of [the Tennessee] stuff? And the guy was like no, we’re not doing none of that.
“I was like, why are you gonna lie to me? I hate to be lied to. I’m gonna tell you the truth just like it is, if it’s good or bad. So I expect people to do the same thing to me. And they just basically lied to me, tell me to come there just to get me there and be one of their little showcases or whatever, like trophies on their wall or something. Then, after that year of playing and not doing ANYTHING like we did in Tennessee…then we get Shanahan in there, aka Red Lobster, as Fred Smoot says. He comes in and completely changes the defense to a 3-4, where I’m reading. I’m not doing things that I normally do — exploding and shooting the gaps and creating havoc – I’m staying on the line, going left and right. Not even going forward.
“I mean, it’s like, you can’t win with that team,” Haynesworth said. “And you think it was just me? I mean, look how he did Donovan. See what’s going on with RGIII. I met RGIII. He seemed like an extremely nice guy that’s willing to work. Now he’s gonna learn – I mean, I hate to say he’s gonna learn — about Shanahan, how he’s conniving and everything like that, where he’s not gonna help him out, it’s all about him.”
The host then pointed out that Shanahan has two Super Bowls to his credit.
“He hasn’t won a playoff game since Elway retired,” Haynesworth interrupted, which is not exactly right but close. “Great coach. Yeah. I mean, that’s what he came in, the very first meeting, he came in saying I’m a great coach, I know how to win, I’ve won 25 championships. I’m like, 25 championships? Then I go back and look, and I was like you haven’t won a freaking playoff game since Elway retired. How come Elway comes back after Shanahan gets fired? Kind of weird. I mean, the guy is all me me me. Sorry to say that.”
So Haynesworth was asked if it’s possible for the Redskins to have success under Shanahan.
“Yeah, good luck with that,” he said. “They’re gonna run RGIII into the ground. They almost really hampered his career last year with the knee injury, putting him back in there. I mean, I think they ought to cut ties, let it go. I think some of the best coaches that I had great success with – Jeff Fisher, Jim Schwartz, we all know Bill Belichick is an unbelievable coach. If they had seven Bill Belichicks at the Patriots, they would be unbeatable, every year.”
So Haynesworth was asked if other Redskins players feel that way.
“I think they’re too scared to say anything,” he said. “They might think that in their head, they might tell one of their closest friends or something like that. But I don’t think it’s gonna work out. They’re always gonna try to blame RGIII for something. It’s never gonna be the head coach’s fault. EVER.”
Which is why Haynesworth said he has nothing but regret about signing with Washington.
“I don’t want the Redskins fans to be mad, but that organization is completely different than the Titans,” he said. “Yeah, they have a long history of being in the NFL, supposedly being one of the top teams. I mean, they’ve got a lot of Hall of Famers from there that I’ve met and that I liked, and liked to learn from. But the current day, I’m not gonna say it’s Dan’s fault — Dan Snyder, I’m not gonna say it’s his fault — but it ain’t really about football, it’s about self-promotion. When I was in Tennessee, when I was with the Titans, it was about football. Guys weren’t trying to sell some socks or sell whatever they’re doing or giving themselves Tweeter shout-outs or come follow me here.
“I mean, that’s what it was about,” Haynesworth said. “It was ridiculous. I’ve never seen that, and I wasn’t used to that. The whole recruiting thing from the beginning – when I signed that deal – which to me was the worst mistake in my life. You could say yeah I got paid a lot of money — I don’t really care about the money. If I knew it was gonna be like that, I never would have went. I never would have went. I guarantee. Because my goal was to be a Hall of Famer and to be one of the greatest defensive tackles to play the game, not just to go and make money at Washington and in two years my career be over there. I mean, that’s not what I’m about. Yeah, I love to make money, but I can make money playing the game and not just some free agent bust or whatever.”