Say what you want about Jim Haslett's job performance or the success of the 3-4 defense, but you can't deny that he did all he could to try to make Albert Haynesworth fit in to his gameplan. While Mike Shanahan played the bad cop, Haslett was the good cop that took Haynesworth aside and tried to actually work with him.
And then, it didn't work. Haynesworth got suspended, and Haslett's efforts went to waste. Today, Haslett's frustrations with the whole saga finally came out. He was asked by a reporter about whether the whole episode caused him to have any regrets about making the change to the 3-4 defense. Instead, Haslett unleashed all those frustrations about Haynesworth that he kept inside, with this one being the best.
"He wasn't happy this year with the 3-4. He wasn't happy last year with the 4-3. What else do you want to do? Run a 2-5?"
Haslett also called out Mike Wise (or at least it appears to be Mike Wise - Haslett didn't say, but Wise was the only Post columnist to remotely take Haynesworth's side, though he didn't, exactly) for his column on Haynesworth the other day. More below the jump. Audio via 106.7 The Fan.
As soon as the question got asked, Haslett immediately went on the offensive about Haynesworth, saying he really wasn't that good to begin with.
"Last year, I got here, and the first thing I did is watch all the tapes. I saw a guy that just got $100 million play bad, play bad, as a three technique, and then the year where the defensive coordinator left, I saw a guy blasting him. Saying, 'Well, I didn't like the defense, I didn't like the 4-3, I didn't like the way I was used.' So, can you ever make the guy happy? I don't know. What do you want? You do exactly what you do in Tennessee, and you're not happy?"
"Not everybody in the National Football League is going to just let Albert do what he wants on the field. It doesn't work that way."
Then, Haslett got all philosophical on everyone.
"You know, there's things in life that you don't want to do, but you gotta do it. My father told me, 'Son, there are things in the world that you're not going to want to do, but if you want to get ahead in the world, you're going to have to do it. I think we're at that point."
And then comes the part where he calls out the columnist.
Your columnist writes in the paper that [Haynesworth is] 'the best defensive lineman you got, the best against the run.' I disagree with that. 'One of the best defensive linemen in the National Football League?' I disagree with that. 'One of the best guys in free agency?' I saw Julius Peppers that year, so I disagree with that. So there's a lot of things that people write and say that I don't think they really even watch film.
And then, there's the money line.
"I got the columnist, and I don't even see him out here at practice, let alone a film. Does he come to the games? He probably watches it on TV."
Oh, and in case it wasn't clear, he does still like Haynesworth. Riiiight.
"Do I still like Albert. Yeah, I like Albert. He's a talented player. I really like the guy. But sooner or later, he's going to have to grow up and understand what's going on."
Once again, this is what happens when all the work you tried to do doesn't pay off. I don't blame Haslett for snapping, and it sure brought some funny lines.