After a long, frustrating summer, all things seem to be a go for embattled Washington Redskins defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth. He’s reportedly comfortable with his position on the team. His contract is fine and he’s ready to play football. Now, if only he could only pass his conditioning test.

Team reports indicate that Haynesworth failed the second part of his conditioning test on July 29, making the two-time Pro Bowl selection ineligible to practice with the team until he passes. Haynesworth entered Redskins Park Thursday for the first time since March 15 after an offseason-long dispute with the team about his role in the newly installed 3-4 defensive strategy.

Washington’s training camp opens July 30, but unofficially began with a Thursday afternoon practice in which Haynesworth was unable to participate. Haynesworth drew the ire of several team members for missing all of the team’s offseason workouts after he grew disgruntled with the coaching staff over the prospect of playing nose tackle in a 3-4 alignment next season. Haynesworth signed a $100 million deal in 2009 on the premise that he would be playing the defensive tackle position in a 4-3 alignment that he anchored for several seasons as a member of the Tennessee Titans.

However, Haynesworth recently had a meeting with head coach Mike Shanahan and defensive coordinator Jim Haslett to discuss his position; the meeting reportedly went well. “All I can do is tell you that we’re going to give him every opportunity to show us what he can do,” Shanahan told reporters. “Hopefully, he’ll like the position that we play him in and give us everything that he’s got.”

Shanahan added: “I was very pleased with his mind-set and where he was coming from. What I expected from him as a football player both on and off the football field. The conversation went well and now we’ll get a chance to see exactly where we’re at in the near future.”

First things first, however, Haynesworth still must pass his conditioning test.

 

Stephen D. Riley

Special to the AFRO