NFL, Redskins

Letters from the wasteland

Dear Coach Shanahan,

Congratulations on the victory Sunday night!  I cannot tell you how refreshing it was to see my beloved Redskins play like professionals again.  They hustled on every play, played to the whistle, and mistakes were kept to a minimum.  It was a sight I have not seen in many years and I’m grateful for all the hard work you and your staff have put in to keep this team disciplined.  After all, discipline is a foundation to build a championship team.

Playing a full schedule of games may seem daunting at times, and you never know what might pop up here and there.  As a coach myself, I understand how important it is to keep players focused on the goal at hand, and to avoid distractions at all cost.  That said, please do SOMETHING with Albert Haynesworth.  This continues to drag out far too long and many of us just want it to go away.  It is now two days after a big Dallas win and everything I see in the media on the Skins is about Albert.  I feel you have two choices here and since it is your team, your reputation, and since you are the closest to the situation, I’ll leave this decision to you.  However, you MUST decide between the two.

Play him.  Yes it seems like a “Get Out of Jail Free” card but his teammates will support him, and they will support you, as their coach.  The new lease on life could also be a positive for the former All-Pro and could result in him working hard again.  A player of Haynesworth’s caliber cannot be reduced to only 12 to 15 plays a game, and you cannot expect him to take the demotion in stride.  If he plays then I’d have to assume he’d play well because he’s a good player and then, and only then, will he be motivated to do his job.   If you have no intention of playing him then….

Cut him loose.  Release him, trade him, de-activate him, it doesn’t matter.  If you are not going to play him then he has to leave Redskins Park immediately.  This really needed to happen after Preseason Week 2.  It was at that point we all figured out he wasn’t going to play much, and it was at that point it became clear to Haynesworth himself that this wasn’t going to work.  The day is coming when everything will hit the fan and all of a sudden the season goes down the tubes because of the circus.  I would rather see this team lose because we are being out played then see us lose because it was too difficult to concentrate on preparing for the next opponent.

So there you have it, coach.  Play him or cut him.  It’s your choice but please make it before the Texans’ game so we can concentrate on matters of greater importance.  This team has worked hard and they deserve some credit, and should not play second fiddle to a stubborn, undisciplined, prima donna with no respect for himself or the game.

Sincerely,

Patrick Duffy

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About Patrick C. Duffy

Patrick Duffy is a Communications/Journalism student at the University of Maryland, University College. I also teach sixth grade English, high school Journalism, and Physical Education. Additionally, I’m the school’s Athletic Director and Head Baseball Coach. My work is featured on the Maryland page of Bleacher Report, and has been redistributed by the University of Maryland football and baseball teams.

Discussion

2 thoughts on “Letters from the wasteland

  1. Pat:

    The Skins are really stuck with Haynesworth. They’ve sunk too much money into him to just get rid of him. He has no trade value and they don’t really want him anyway. Basically, Shanahan is stuck with trying to make it work.

    Posted by Brian Carroccio | September 20, 2010, 8:02 PM
  2. Brian,

    You cannot keep cancers around your team. This has been proven to fail time and time again. At some point you must cut your losses for the good of the team, and move on. Haynesworth was a big mistake, and he clearly doesn’t fit into what the new coaching staff is trying to establish. I see Haynesworth a lot like having to go to the dentist, “you can pay now, or you’ll pay later.” We’ve paid enough.

    Posted by Patrick Duffy | September 20, 2010, 11:03 PM

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