Let me start out by saying I’ve got nothing personally against Tripp Smith.
Under a different set of circumstances, I’m confident that Smith and I could get along just fine. Maybe we’d crack open a few cold, refreshing beverages as he offered workout advice (like, you know, stop drinking so many cold, refreshing beverages) or what have you.
But honestly, when Albert Haynesworth’s personal trainer talked with Rich Campbell about Fat Albert’s fantastic offseason this week, my initial reaction was simply, “Shut up. No one wants to hear it.”
For those who missed it, Smith said during a telephonic interview (presumably from Haynesworth’s house, where he’s been staying for the last few months) that Haynesworth has shed 32 pounds since the beginning of April when they started working out together and that he’s convinced his client is “going to open some eyes when he gets to camp.”
Since Haynesworth has turned his back on the Washington Redskins this offseason, opting to stay away from head coach Mike Shanahan and his teammates while working out on his own with Smith, I guess it would open some eyes if the man actually showed up for work. But I digress.
Smith addressed Haynesworth’s decision to blow off his employer’s wishes and remain in Tennessee this offseason.
“He was obviously not happy with his situation,” Smith said. “But I think more so he felt comfortable with me and the relationship that we had built. He knew what to expect and what I expected and the fact the past two seasons we’ve gotten ready and he has showed up to camp in shape looking good and everything.”
“We’ve gotten to know each other for the past three years, so I know what makes him tick and what doesn’t,” Smith added later. “I can be so one-on-one and focused on him, whereas in a team setting or whatnot, you’ve got 10, 20, 30 guys working out with you in that group – or however it works for that specific team – and that coach is not solely dedicated to you and working on those little things.
“I think he likes the fact that it’s just him and I,” he said. “I listen to the feedback he gives me and I change things accordingly. In the long run that’s what’s going to make him a better football player and athlete on the field.”
Okay, seriously, where do I begin? How about, for starters, we focus on the explanation Haynesworth gave for wanting to skip the team’s offseason workout program. If you remember, Albert basically said he tried the Redskins’ offseason workout plan last year and felt it didn’t cut it.
“After many years in the NFL, I know what it takes for me to perform at my highest level,” Haynesworth said in a prepared statement back in June. “My number one goal has always been to help my team win – period. It’s also important at my position to help free my teammates to make plays, which I’ve done throughout my career when I’ve been allowed to play to my strengths. I will continue to work individually to prepare for training camp and the start of the 2010 season.”
To recap, Haynesworth wasn’t happy with the team’s offseason program under Jim Zorn, so he felt it was in his best interest to blow off Shanahan and an entirely new coaching staff as they try to install a completely new offensive and defensive system.
That’s roughly equal to a child saying, “Well, my Biology teacher during my freshman year was clueless, so I’m skipping Chemistry.”
Zorn wasn’t good at his job. We all know that. So what’s that got to do with Shanahan? Last I checked, he’s got two more Super Bowl rings than Haynesworth does.
This seems like an appropriate time to point out that this is the third-straight offseason Haynesworth has trained with Smith. So if we’re passing out blame, then let’s be sure to also look in the direction of the guying playing slumber party at Fat Albert’s this summer.
Smith spent plenty of time with Haynesworth last offseason too, and look what good that did. Haynesworth still rolled around on the ground like an Italian soccer player every time he needed to catch his breath, so let’s not hurt anything patting ourselves on the back.
But apparently this year is different because Haynesworth is motivated after hearing so many people calling him out for being grossly out of shape one year ago. So ignore the results from a year ago. This year is different.
Who knew all you had to do was work some boxing into the rotation and suddenly Haynesworth is competing with Andre Carter (and his three percent body fat) as the poster child for fitness?
And to that I say give me a freaking break. Smith, you’re a paid employee of Albert Haynesworth. You’re nothing more than another person on the payroll doing damage control. Nothing you say matters. You know why? Because nothing Haynesworth has to say matters.
At the end of the day, either Albert will come to training camp in shape or he won’t. And honestly, even if he shows up in the best shape of his life, there’s no guarantee that Shanahan and friends will want anything to do with the guy. For all we know, the Redskins might be content to pay him to sit on the bench.[Quick sidenote: How ironic would that be if the guy legitimately shows up in tip-top shape, only to be relegated to the bench because of his piss-poor attitude? Let’s just say, from a karma standpoint, this scenario would make me really, really happy.]
Words are meaningless.
The chance to participate in a healthy dialog came and went when Haynesworth opted to turn his back on his new head coach because he couldn’t fathom being asked to change up his game to better help his team succeed.
Like London Fletcher said last month, Haynesworth has no clue what his role is the team’s new 3-4 defense will be because he hasn’t bothered to show up at Redskins Park. Arriving in ideal shape is better than the alternative, but that doesn’t guarantee anything in terms of Haynesworth’s future with the organization.
So with all due respect to Smith and anyone else who would like to speak out on Albert’s behalf – save it.
The only thing ‘Skins fans care to hear at this point would be an apology from Haynesworth, along with a promise to drop the selfish act and become a team player. Anything else is a waste of time.