Monday, August 2, 2010

Picking on the Fat Kid

So how much longer is Mike Shanahan going to keep waiting for Albert Haynesworth to run 300 yards in under 71 seconds?

The comical daily reports of how slow Fat Al is, will quickly become tired. At some point, I think we need to concede Constanza’s Bluff and turn around before we reach the Hamptons and realize there is no “Prickly Pete” or “Snoopy.”

But let it be forever noted, that one of the most expensive football purchases ever made by our intrepid Beltbuckle Kid of an owner, couldn’t pass his conditioning test because he had to go potty.

Move over, Gus Frerotte and your concrete headbutt. Scoot down Michael Westbrook and your beatdown of Stephen Davis. Sorry, Jeff George and your “leadership is over-rated” quote.

We have a new all-timer in the clubhouse of ridiculous.

For those that don’t know the details of NFL “conditioning tests” it goes something like this.

Most teams use a 300 yard drill, where you sprint 25 yards and back, a total of 6 times. You then take a rest of 3.5 minutes, and do it again. Your benchmark time to beat depends on your position. For linemen like Al, it is 71 seconds on the first run, 73 on the second.

This is not hard.

For comparison sake, the - husky but long-since-retired from his D1 basketball stint at Tufts University - Dave Feldman, of Fox 5 here in DC, did the test on his first try Monday. Scored in the 60’s. Said he was huffin’. But passed. So did various other media members here in town.

One try.

He’s not in the NFL, and not making $40 million in guaranteed money.

So Haynesworth tries the first run, and barely breaks 71. Then he says he has to go to the bathroom. Some 10.5 minutes later, he comes back, and asks if he can now just do the second rep.

Shanahan: Nope.

He starts over, and fails miserably, walking the second leg of it.
He tries again on Friday, fails. Decides to “rest” his legs (and sore knee, what a shock, eh?) on Saturday and Sunday. Tries again on Monday.


This clown is a classic. “Can I go to the bathroom.”

This is the equivalent of saying: “The dog ate my conditioning test.”

So here we are, and there’s no telling when – if ever – Haynesworthless will pass. My gut instinct is that the Redskins are setting up a PUP-list type move, where they can then claim contract negligence and claw back some bonus in front of a sympathetic arbitrator.

Or, Shanahan – noted for being one grudge-holding-m-fer – might just let him fester until the day after final cuts, and then turn him loose, with few teams willing to jump into that hot mess just before they push off from shore on the NFL season.

Or, as my radio colleague Andy Pollin speculated: this too, is actually “marketing” by the team that never stops pumping the product. Marketing in that fans really WANT to punish Big Al, and they want to know that a no-bullshit sherriff is really, firmly, utterly in charge.

Hey, I’ve heard worse theories.

Because to me, this is a huge – albeit spectacularly funny – waste of time. Think about it. You have a player who is hated in the locker-room, ridiculed by fans, grossly out of shape, with a horseshit attitude, and is now way behind in learning the new scheme.

You gonna trust him on a big 3rd and 7 against the Dallas Cowboys on the road?

He’ll take two half-assed steps into a gap, lose his balance, fall down, and allow Marion Barber to go 74 yards up the middle for a TD.

No thanks. Let’s cut the strings to this parade float, and pretend it never, ever, ever happened.

Or, maybe there’s a fairy tale finish somewhere here, where Al passes the test, and works his way back into the starting lineup playing the hated 3-4 scheme. Team-mates accept him back, fans begrudgingly do as well, and it’s all just one big silly summer misunderstanding.



  1. What a car wreck. Can't wait to see how this ends up.

  2. I'm telling you, he is a prime pick for the Bengals just before the season starts. Can you imagine that D? Pacman, Tank, and Fat Al? Not to mention the O to balance it out: T.O., Cedric, and OchoStinko.

  3. Shanahan was famous for run-ins with his talented but troubled players in Denver. Heck Eddie Kennison retired in the middle of the season just because he was sick of him and came back a month later with the Chiefs and played 5 more productive seasons. Haynesworth is definitely to blame for all this ridiculousness, but don't expect this to be the last time something like this happens on Shanahan's watch.

  4. I am not a Haynesworth apologist and I hate the Redskins, so take my comment for what it's worth. The 300-yard shuttle is a dumb test for linemen. Do you think Kris Jenkins when he was at his best could complete this test, do you think he needed to?

    how about bryant mckinnie or logan mankins?

    I could pick at least 10 other "conditioning tests" that an NFL lineman - offensive and defensive - couldn't pass that are just as meaningless.