Albert Haynesworth made plenty of negative headlines during his time as a professional football player in Washington D.C. and earlier this week he was back at it, taking shots at his former head coach Mike Shanahan.
On Thursday, Shanahan responded to Haynesworth and made sure he was absolutely clear in his sentiments.
After beginning his statement in a very matter-of-fact manner, he paused to start over saying, "Let me start this over again because I want to be pretty specific on this since you asked me that question… The only people I really haven’t gotten along with since I've been a coach – as head coach, an assistant coach – is someone that’s lazy and number two, when somebody is lazy and they may lack character, or they’re lazy and they lack passion for the game, those are the only people I haven’t gotten along with as a head coach or as an assistant coach."
Shanahan was responding to comments that Hayneworth made on Tennessee Sports Radio stating that Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III was "gonna learn, I mean, 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."
Hayneworth went on to add, "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 [John] 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."
Haynesworth was a disgruntled defensive tackle with Washington as he failed to pass condition tests, fit in to the 3-4 defensive scheme, and win over teammates including Chris Cooley who went as far as to call him an "awful human being."
Shanahan finished his thoughts on Haynesworth by saying, "When I take a look through my years at people that have been lazy or have lacked passion for their job, they don’t go into the next year. When they do, they don’t last the next year... it usually falls into one of those couple areas: lazy, lack of passion, and a lot of times, a lack of character. And he fits all three."
"You usually take the high road as much as you can," said Shanahan. "I usually do, but I thought that he’s been talking quite a bit over the last couple years, so I thought at least I’d be honest with you guys and kind of tell you how I feel.”
The Haynesworth comments come at a bad time for a 2-5 team reeling from a 45-21 loss to the Denver Bronocs and in desperate need of some positive momentum.