When Steve Spagnuolo was hired as the Rams’ coach in January of 2009, the first thing he talked about was his now famous “four pillars” philosophy…faith, character, team first, core values. To his and the franchise’s credit, they’ve stuck to that thought process, bringing in only quality people that fit the philosophy.
The Redskins, on the other hand, have the ultimate “no pillars” player in Albert Haynesworth. No faith, no character, me before team and no appreciation for core values.
Mike Shanahan, who has a pretty good history of building winning teams, took over the Redskins in January and hired Jim Haslett to run a 3-4 defense. Immediately, Haynesworth complained about the new scheme, expressing no faith in that defense, his coaches or his teammates. This complaint came on the heels of Haynesworth complaining about the scheme he signed to play in…complaints that got him kicked out of practice last year.
This off-season, the Redskins told Haynesworth that he could leave, that they would release him if he wanted. All he had to to was turn down a $21 million roster bonus, and he could find a new team. If he took the check, they expected him to commit to the franchise. Haynesworth agreed. The Redskins paid the money on April 1, but Haynesworth didn’t commit to them. In this instance, he showed no character.
When Haynesworth didn’t show up for minicamp this week, he certainly put himself ahead of the team. Former Ram London Fletcher, who has never really played in a 3-4 an isn’t a great fit for it, willingly has embraced the new scheme and the new staff. Fletcher is furious, and ripped into his teammate for not showing up. Fletcher, who really embodies what Spagnuolo wants here, is a Redskins insider who points out that Haynesworth is NOT a team first player.
The Redskins under Bruce Allen and Shanahan clearly have an idea of where they want to go. Just like in Denver, they want to run the ball and zone block on offense, and on defense, they want to allow their linebacking corps to make plays. And, they obviously want players on board with what they’re doing. You don’t give an unhappy guy like Haynesworth the ability to walk if you don’t have that belief. Obviously, Albert Haynesworth doesn’t share their core values.
So, Albert Haynesworth has done something very difficult. He has proven to be, in Spagnuolo’s world, a player that possesses NONE of the four pillars. No Faith, no character, no team first, no core values. Amazing.