Haynesworth Is "The Man" On Defense Say NFL Players. Holmgren Up Next.

Anthony Brown@SkinsHogHeavenCorrespondent ISeptember 30, 2009

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 27: Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth #92 of the Washington Redskins lays on the field injured as he is attended to by trainers in the first half against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on September 27, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)

This is what my football world is coming to. Writing what other people write about the Washington Redskins is more interesting than what I have to say. Today I'm a shill for Sports Illustrated.

Ben Kaplan at timeinc.com tells me that in this week’s Sports Illustrated Poll, 296 NFL players were asked “Who is the Most Dominant Defensive Player in the NFL?”  Most players picked Washington Redskins DT Albert Haynesworth (19 percent), followed by the Baltimore Ravens’ S Ed Reed (14 percent), the Dallas Cowboys’ LB DeMarcus Ware (13 percent), the Pittsburgh Steelers’ LB James Harrison (10 percent) and the Baltimore Ravens’ LB Ray Lewis (8 percent).

Fast company. If we had all those stellar D guys on the Redskins, would the redskins have beaten Detroit?

Discouraged fans want to know.

There is plenty of talent on the Skins. Discerning fans long ago realized the Skins ain't no 12-4 team currently underperforming their level. Bloggers who follow the team figured them for 9-7 with an iffy shot at the playoffs.

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Three games into the season, that's still a realistic possibility. Washington has five games to give before the bottom falls out.

Knowing that pro players think Haynesworth is "the man" is something to hang on to, even after watching the Detroit Lions gash the middle of the Redskin D-line.

With a moral loss to the Rams and a the meltdown in Motown, the Redskins cannot allow any thought of beatable teams still on the schedule. That includes the next team up, the 0-3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Washington could manage no better than a split with Detroit and St. Louis this season and last. Those two teams combined for three wins over 19 game weeks. Two of those wins were against us.

That leads to Zorn bashing. But speculation about his future is as much about starry-eyed Daniel Snyder as about Zorn.

Mike Florio writes in profootballtalk.com that Mike Holmgren would like to return to coaching and to do it in the godless East "where you wake up on Sunday morning and it's the most important thing." Holmgren specifically mentioned East Rutherford or Philly or Washington in his comments to Florio.

I don't think those guys in East Rutherford or Philly are in any trouble.

Florio's conclusion: "So we think it'll be Holmgren and Shanahan jockeying for position in D.C., and the Redskins and Cowboys in a possible tug of war to get their preferred candidate."

Speculation! Offseason drama doesn't cut it around here anymore.

Snyder's assumption that the Redskins are one star short of a Super Bowl confounds his efforts to build a winner.

It's bad enough that so many people have written off both Jim Zorn and the season. Wouldn't it be ironic if Zorn turned out to be a mere placeholder for his old boss?

Holmgren does have one quality Zorn lacks: More experience as head coach than does Jason Campbell as a starter.

Zorn would be wise to be more consultative with Campbell. I'm not sure that's happening. The best offenses seem to foster a partnership between coach and quarterback, at least publicly. Who knows what happens in private?

Zorn leaves the impression that he—and only he—knows best when it comes to play calling. Campbell is reaching the point where he's comfortable with Zorn's offense. He must have ideas to make it work better.

That's a nugget to build on, if Zorn will take it. I hope he is not like Steve Spurrier, who came to Washington to see if his offensive philosophies worked at the NFL level. Spurrier would not adapt his play calling because he did not want to be "NFL-ized."

Don't be that guy, JZ. Collaborate.

Albert Haynesworth had his MRI in Tennessee so that he could deal with a personal matter, Jim Zorn said. This is the Internet Age. Nothing is secret for long. Haynesworth was in Tennessee for a divorce hearing.

Ugh! Been there. Done that. I hope things work out amicably for Big Albert and his family. Amicable divorces are rare and always distracting. But hey, Sports Illustrated says Haynesworth is the most dominant defensive player in the game.

He's also human.


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