Tracy Byrd wasn’t wrong when he sang, “When mama ain't happy ain't nobody happy.” But he forgot the sports verse: “When your superstar’s not happy, nobody’s happy.”
That song could be sung this year for Albert Haynesworth.
A no-show at Redskins Park all offseason, Haynesworth is expected to take part in the Washington Redskins’ first mandatory minicamp, scheduled to begin Wednesday morning.
Haynesworth, who turns 29 this week, is unhappy with Washington’s decision to run a 3-4 defensive scheme that requires him to play nose tackle. The nine-year vet has spent his entire career playing defensive tackle in a 4-3 scheme.
What's the big deal? Haynesworth wants nothing to do with becoming a space-eating, blocker-attracting gap-plugger. The 350-pound human wrecking ball wants to create havoc and pressure opposing quarterbacks -- a role he wasn’t utilized in much last season.
So he’s spent the offseason showing the Redskins that he’s upset; not by talking to the team and coaching staff, but by not showing up to any team-sanctioned events.
And while it's hard to feel sorry for a man making more than $100 million to play football, Haynesworth may be right.
Washington’s defense would be much more formidable if he were asked to play defensive end. He’d be more of a game-changer by creating turnovers on the outside than he would plugging up the middle.
But Haynesworth has handled this offseason about as well as he conditioned himself for games last season.
Surely you remember his Phillip Seymour Hoffman-caliber acting performances last season, don't you? He’d collapse on the field and have to be helped to the sidelines with an injury to be named later, only to get some oxygen and return after a few plays, no longer in pain.
And that was in a season when he took part in his team’s workout plan.
Since Haynesworth’s offseason-long hiatus is ending in two days, we’ll soon know what type of shape the very talented, yet extremely frustrating, defender is in.
By week’s end the Redskins will have a gauge on how serious Haynesworth is about helping Washington rebound from its worst season in 15 years.
And if there’s any doubt about the effort Haynesworth will be exerting this season after this week’s minicamp, the Redskins need to find a way to rid themselves of him now.