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Don't assume Haynesworth, Redskins will go on smoothly

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Posted July 28, 2010 @ 11:58 p.m. ET
By Eric Edholm

It has been my experience that it's not easy for some people to forget.

Women, teachers and parents especially.

But we might throw football players — and coaches, for that matter — into that pool.

Albert Haynesworth says he is ready to play nice now and that he's excited to be a Redskin now. Start the celebration, D.C.

It's clearly a positive development for the Redskins that their one-time defensive centerpiece and the highest-paid defender in the league says he wants to play football. But I suspect that outside the public displays of affection from Haynesworth and certain Redskins, there will be a darker quotient behind the scenes.

Already several veterans have spoken out against Haynesworth, and I doubt many of them are giggling like schoolgirls at today's report. Happy he's there to work? Sure. Convinced he's on board 100 percent? Doubtful. Gleeful at his return? I doubt it.

Haynesworth has a lot of work to do. First, he must talk to his teammates and explain himself. He has to win back a locker room he might never have even had. If Haynesworth had endeared himself to his teammates last year, they might have been slower to criticize him publicly this offseason. But people have told me there was a clear disconnect between him and the rest of the team even before he complained of having to play nose tackle in a 3-4 defense.

Second, he must show he's going to work hard. Haynesworth has a reputation as an inconsistent player (especially in practice) and worker. There must be a new Albert, one who occasionally beats a London Fletcher or a Phillip Daniels to the facility in the morning.

Third, and perhaps most easily, he must lie low after this story starts to die down. It's perhaps a little strange for a media member to suggest a player keep a low profile, but it makes sense. Haynesworth never has been known as a media darling in the first place, and that's fine. He worked hard to get a better reputation in Tennessee, and it helped him land a megadeal with Washington. But now he must address his teammates and the media, go to work and then vanish from the spotlight. Let this thing evaporate. Work hard at practice. Be a good teammate. Let things defuse themselves with good production on the field, nothing else.

The work starts tomorrow. We'll see how good his team's memory is, though.


Read Eric Edholm's "Around the NFL" blog, with frequent postings on all things NFL.

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