The NFL’s highest-paid defensive player now has some extra time to shop for the Holidays. The Washington Redskins have deactivated defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth for the balance of their season, essentially ending the standoff between the former Tennessee Titan and Mike Shanahan, still in his first year on the job as head coach.
I’ve heard some rumblings that Mike Shanahan acts like a tyrant for little more than his own amusement, but really, what the hell else is he supposed to be? If he’s asking a subordinate, one getting paid handsomely at that, to do a job, and that guy says no, then what the hell is he supposed to do? You don’t roll out a burgandy-and-gold carpet for a guy that doesn’t fall in line. His refusal to cave into Haynesworth’s demands should be commended as a testament to the foundation that he’s attempting to build with the organization.
That’s not to say that the coach’s people skills are to be commended. The Redskins (5-7) are going to miss the playoffs again this year, and one could point to Shanahan’s handing of Donovan McNabb as the start of Where It All Went Wrong. Washington is 1-3 since the benching, and claims that Shanahan might have lost his team by sending Rex Grossman into what was still a winnable game against Detroit in Week 8.
Shanahan’s problem isn’t that he can’t coach, it’s that his tactics eventually p:ss everyone off. He got fired from Denver after an 8-8 season. You think Pat Bowlen wouldn’t shoot his mother in the face for an 8-8 season right now? He just fired Josh McDaniels, who traded away the assets that Shanahan actually had secured there, and his organization is now getting lapped by the Raiders. Mike Shanahan doesn’t look like such a big problem now. Only time will tell if the Redskins will feel the same way.