Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan met with Albert Haynesworth on Monday and kept the conversation to himself, saying it’s ”completely ridiculous” to keep talking about it publicly.
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”If you guys want to talk about football, we’ll talk about football,” Shanahan said. ”But to keep on talking about things outside of football to me is completely ridiculous. I did have a conversation with him. If you want to talk about football, we’ll talk about football.”
So Shanahan gave no response to the strong words uttered by the disgruntled nose tackle following Saturday’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Haynesworth accused the coach of mischaracterizing the reason he missed practice last week and said he will stay away from the Redskins’ offseason workout program again next year.
Reports say Haynesworth was suffering from a muscle condition called rhabdomyolysis, but Shanahan told AOL Fanhouse on Sunday that he was ”not aware of that.” Shanahan had given various reasons for Haynesworth’s inability to practice, eventually attributing it to a headache.
Haynesworth did not talk to reporters Monday, but was back at practice for the first time in a week.
Shanahan has maintained that the two-time All-Pro tackle must practice regularly to play and work his way back to a starting role. He has made Haynesworth practice and play with the backups.
Haynesworth, who failed a conditioning test and missed the first nine days of training camp practice, said Saturday he shouldn’t have been playing with the reserves during the Ravens game.
”We’re going to practice him as much as we can and get him ready to play,” Shanahan said Monday. ”Hopefully he doesn’t miss any practices, and when he plays he plays well.”
Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett, who has worked closely with Haynesworth amid the player-head coach feud, said Haynesworth is ”in the mix” to become a starter before the regular season opener Sept. 12.
”Obviously he’s a good football player when he’s in shape, healthy, ready to go,” Haslett said. ”We need to find that out here in the next three weeks. … He just has to get going, that’s all. It’s time to stop all this and just go.”
Haynesworth’s teammates are looking forward to putting the dispute behind them.
”Sometimes there’s frustration that takes place, but any time you have 80 players on the roster you’re going to have little things come up,” linebacker London Fletcher said. ”Certain things should just stay in the locker room. Nowadays things get out.”
Cornerback Carlos Rogers said players are more worried about their own jobs than Haynesworth’s situation.
”I don’t think it affects nobody in this locker room,” Rogers said. ”They worry about what they’ve got to do. That’s been going on since the summer. We’ve really been going without him.”