I hear people criticizing the possibility of the Eagles going after Washington Redskins defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth. They talk about him being a bad guy, along with his unwillingness to play hard in Washington and the numerous times he’s been in trouble with the law off the field.
They say he’s not worth taking the risk of bringing in here. I think the Birds should be taking educated risks when appropriate, in order to enhance their chances of winning a Super Bowl. A championship is all Andy Reid, Joe Banner and the Eagles need to complete their resume. They’ve done everything else.
I think Haynesworth can be a difference-maker and you can’t say that about very many players in the league. The difference-makers are the players who are the focus of their opponents game plans, but they can’t be stopped from dominating. They’re accounted for on each play and usually double-teamed, but to no avail.
Despite all the attention, they still produce All-Star numbers which allows their teammates perform better.
I understand the reluctance about pursuing “Fat Albert” but bringing in Haynesworth is exactly what the Eagles need to do. More than any other available player he will immediately make the Birds a better defense when he lines up at defensive tackle.
I can’t help but compare this to the Birds decision to trade for Terrell Owens.
Owens in 2004 and Haynesworth in 20011 have the same potential for dominance and as I said their mere presence in the lineup makes the rest of their teammates better. They’re both like having Michael Jordan on your NBA team. Defenses will try to double team him, but he’s still going to score 30 points and the double-teaming of him will leave his teammates open for easy shots.
With Owens in 2004, defenses would game plan to stop him, but he would catch four or five passes and one or two touchdowns, which would leave everybody else one-on-one and make the Eagles offense impossible to stop.
In Haynesworth’s time in Tennessee, offenses would double-team, but he would still beat the double-team. get into the backfield, create havoc and make everybody on their defense better. You can’t single block this guy.
He would immediately make Trent Cole better. How many times are they going to double-team Cole with Haynesworth lined up inside? I like the idea of putting Haynesworth in there with big Antonio Dixon. Let’s see if a quarterback can step up into the pocket with those two pushing back the line.
Even during the awful year he had last year in Washington, there were times when he just man-handled 320-pound offensive linemen. With Haynesworth in the lineup, quarterbacks won’t be able to step up. It’s also very difficult to run the ball with him on the field.
The linebackers will be running free and the defensive backs won’t have to cover as long. I like the fact that he’s got something prove after the Washington disaster.
The only thing the Birds are playing for is a trip to the Super Bowl. Everything else is a waste of time. Haynesworth is a risk, but if new defensive line coach Jim Washburn can get him to play like he’s capable, it will immediately make the Birds a serious Super Bowl contender.
The Haynesworth experiment will only last two or three years at the most, but they’ll have a legitimate chance to have a very good defense with him in the lineup.
The Birds need to go after a Super Bowl Title. Winning another division title won’t matter. It’s Super Bowl or bust.
If he gets out of control and won’t play hard, then they’ll be able to cut him and move on. It’s worth the risk.