When you make a tenth of a billion dollars, people expect great things. Albert Haynesworth is learning that the hard way.
The Skins' big free-agent signing had a decent game in Sunday's loss to the Giants, but Danny Snyder didn't whip out the check book for just OK.
The Skins signed him because they expected him to be a game-changing player. Was he? Maybe, maybe not.
The biggest problem most had with him was how little he actually played. Every time the cameras cut to him, he was on the sideline, bent over, hands on knees panting ferociously. "I know that no one expected Haynesworth to be a 16-game guy, but I didn't expect to see him gassed at 16 minutes," said Cindy Boren, the Post'sNFL editor.
Sally Jenkins turned her column to the questions surrounding his play and also emphasized his stamina: "By halftime, he seemed to move gingerly. He hauled his body toward the tunnel as if it were midnight, and at one point, you wondered if he was going to make it."
She also noted that he didn't have a single highlight play -- he wasn't chasing Eli around the backfield, for example.
But that sort of misses what he does. When he was on the field, he often drew double-teams. On passing plays, that hypothetically allows him to free up room for the defensive ends to pressure the QB -- Andre Carter did manage to sack Manning once.
It's on running plays where he should make the biggest difference. He's a big target to get around, and by drawing multiple blockers, that's one less blocker to get into the second level. That frees up your linebackers to make more plays, and considering London Fletcher's 11 tackles and seven assists, it seems like Haynesworth did just that.
While he didn't seem to have much effect on passing situations, the Giants' offensive line is probably one of the two or three best in the game. Yes, it would've been nice to see more pressure, but the results don't mean the Skins can't be effective at getting to the QB.
Meanwhile, Haynesworth isn't concerned about all the time he missed. He told reporters that it's just part of the plan: "What the coaches here want me to do is go as hard as I can for as long as I can. If I get tired, they want me to come out, catch my breath and go back out."
Just imagine how much they'd have paid him if he didn't get tired.