Looking at Haynesworth's lengthy rap sheet


Looking at Haynesworth's lengthy rap sheet

By Phil Perry

Earlier this summer, Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett confirmed what everyone had already heard: Albert Haynesworth can be a real pain in the locker room, the meeting room, etc.

"He can do almost anything he wants. He doesnt want to do anything. To me thats the issue, Haslett told 101 ESPN Radio in St. Louis. Hes one of those guys you walk in a meeting and you tell him, Put down the phone. The next day you have to tell him to put down the phone. The next day, you tell him to put down the phone.

You tell him, Dont read the newspaper in meetings. The next day you have to tell him the same thing. It doesnt stick; its an every-day thing.

If only those were the worst of Haynesworth's problems.

The irritable defensive tackle has a propensity for breaking the law, almost breaking the law, and being accused of breaking the law. He has racked up a significant rap sheet ever since his college days at Tennessee. Here's a list of his most infamous indiscretions, including the one that put his volatile personality on the map: the stomp heard 'round the NFL.

At the University of Tennessee in November 2000, Haynesworth, a sophomore, got mad at Volunteers offensive tackle Will Ofenheusle. Haynesworth left the practice field and returned with what multiple reports described as a "long pole," but Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer intervened.

In training camp of 2003, Haynesworth started a team brawl by kicking Titans center Justin Hartwig. Then, in December 2003, Titans coach Jeff Fisher deactivated Haynesworth for one game after Haynesworth hit Matt Martin in the back of the head during an argument.

In June of 2006, a judge dismissed reckless endangerment charges against Haynesworth after a motorist alleged Haynesworth tried to run her off Interstate 40 in Tennessee. Haynesworth said he was the one who had been the victim of road rage.

Then came the stomp. Looking back at the video, it appears as though Haynesworth actually missed when he first tried to step on Andre Gurode's face during a game in October 2006. Haynesworth went back to make sure the second landed flush, and it did. He opened a gash on Gurode's face that need 30 stitches to sew up. He was slapped with a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, which was followed by a second 15-yard penalty and an ejection after he removed his helmet to curse out the official.

Haynesworth was apologetic after the incident.

"What I did out there was disgusting," he said. "It doesn't matter what the league does to me. The way I feel right now, you just can't describe it."

He was suspended by the NFL for five games without pay.

In December of 2008, Haynesworth caused an accident driving over 100 mph in his Ferrari and left a man seriously injured. The man needed hip replacement surgery after the accident and it was alleged he could not move without a walker or a wheelchair.

Haynesworth showed the Redskins last season that even when he's not being gratuitously violent on the field, or breaking the law, he can still kill your team. He boycotted mandatory minicamp, then needed ten tries to pass a conditioning test to get on the field. He refused to play in the Redskins base defense and was suspended for the final four games of last season by coach Mike Shannahan.

In February, he was accused of punching a man in the nose during an alleged case of road rage. He paid the accuser to settle the case.

This spring he was indicted on sexual assault charges after allegedly fondling a waitress while paying his bill at the W Hotel in Washington, DC. His attorney has accused the waitress of trying to make a cash grab. Haynesworth rejected a plea offer in May. He told investigators the waitress was upset because he is not attracted to black women. If convicted, he faces up 180 days in jail and a fine of 1,000. The trial is set to begin August 2.

Develin stays on top of tight end techniques in case he's next man up


Develin stays on top of tight end techniques in case he's next man up

FOXBORO -- Once the Patriots traded AJ Derby to the Broncos for a fifth-round pick earlier this week, they were left with just two tight ends on their roster. While those two tight ends -- Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett -- have played as two of the best tight ends in football this season, it's a position group that has been considerably thinned. 

Until coach Bill Belichick adds another player at that spot, James Develin would be the logical "next man up." A position group unto himself as the team's lone active fullback -- the other fullback in the locker room is practice-squad player Glenn Gronkowski -- Develin meets with Patriots tight ends and coach Brian Daboll on a daily basis because the fullback and tight-end responsibilities in the Patriots offense are similar, particularly in the run game.

As much time as he spends with that group, Develin tries to absorb what he can when it comes to the nuances of the position. 

"I always kind of try to prepare, obviously, for my fullback role, but then in any other role that I might be called upon for," Develin said on Thursday. "A couple years ago, we had a bunch of injuries during the offseason program, during OTAs, and I filled in a little bit at tight end. I try to keep myself familiar with all those techniques and that tight end role so if the day were to come where I needed to go out there and do it, I'd be able to go out there and do it."

When the Patriots began the season relying more on the run, Develin was called upon to play a relatively significant role in the offense. He averaged 21.3 snaps per game through the first three games of the season, but that number has fallen to 13.6 since Tom Brady's return from a four-game suspension. Still, his role can be a critical one. 

The Patriots' running game faltered last season after both Blount and Dion Lewis went down with season-ending injuries. Having Develin in the mix as an extra blocker would not have guaranteed a more efficient attack, but it may have helped the team's running-game woes late in the year. 

Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels now has the luxury of bringing Develin onto the field when he wants some added muscle for his blocking schemes, and should the Patriots need a tight end in a pinch, Develin could do that too.

"A lot of times, especially in the blocking game, really the only difference [between fullback and tight end] is that I'm five yards off the ball in the backfield and they're up on the line," Develin said. "The angles are a little bit different. But a lot of times the assignment is typcially the same thing. It's just the technique of getting there and the angles that you take.

"Then in the passing game, as a tight end, there's just a lot more routes and stuff like that. I try to work on that to help me as a fullback to be a little bit better in space . . . It's a sybiotic relationship." 

As it is, Develin will line up occasionally outside. Though not a threat as a receiver in that spot in the same way that Gronkowski or Bennett would be, he understands some of the different looks tight ends have to be comfortable with.

If an emergency arose and he was asked to fill that role, he wouldn't hesitate.

"There's a little bit of carry-over depending on what we're doing or whatever play we have called where I'll line up on the line," he said. "But that's kind of what a fullback has to do. You kind of have to be able to be thrown into whatever position on the field that you gotta do and you gotta just do your job."

Older, wiser Gronk: 'When the journey is over... you need to get down'


Older, wiser Gronk: 'When the journey is over... you need to get down'

FOXBORO -- The move did not require Olympic-caliber speed or other-worldly quickness. There was a subtle head fake, a foot in the ground, a shoulder turn. All of a sudden, Rob Gronkowski was wide open in the middle of the field and reeling in a Tom Brady pass for 37 yards in the fourth quarter of last weekend's win over the Steelers. 

Bill Belichick raved about the play on Patriots.com days after the fact. What Gronkowski did to safety Robert Golden was a thing of beauty in the eyes of the coach.

"This really is a good look at Rob’s route-running ability," Belichick said. "Rob comes in on Golden and takes it down the middle, like he’s going to run a crossing pattern or over route, and gives him a good move here and bends it back out. The receivers clear out the corners. That’s a lot of space there."

Gronkowski's move, combined with the steady diet of crossing routes teams have seen from the Patriots in recent weeks, helped set up the play that led to LeGarrette Blount's second touchdown of the day. The 6-foot-6, 265-pound tight end was like a power pitcher who had been throwing fastballs for six innings and then pulled the string with a change-up in the seventh. Golden was helpless. 

"The number of times we’ve run Rob on over routes, and to come back and counter it -- it looks like Golden is trying to guess on the route and undercut it a little bit. Rob comes back away from it and turns it into a big play and sets up our last touchdown. Really a well-executed play by Rob.

“Sometimes you think it’s all size and strength, but as a technique route runner, he’s very good, too."

A quick mid-route shimmy. A look in one direction before heading in another. A nudge -- sometimes picking up a flag, sometimes not. They're all elements of route-running that Gronkowski has added to his tool belt over the course of his seven years with the Patriots. Considered the team's resident frat boy, it's sometimes hard to remember that he's one of the longest-tenured players on the team, a captain, and that he's picked up his share veteran tricks along the way.  

"I’ve definitely had to work it out plenty since I’ve been here," Gronkowski said of his route-running. "To be successful in this organization and this offense you just got to be working on it big time. It’s not just you just come in and you have it. From day one I remember I could barely even get open but just learning from Tom, from all my coaches here, it definitely helps out going out and focusing on your route detail. 

"Sometimes, necessarily, you don’t have to be the best skilled player out on the field to get open. It’s just learning the game of football, how to get open, what move to make is definitely all part of it."

Getting open is only part of it.

What he does with the football in his hands to run away from defenders is something that comes naturally. What hasn't always clicked for Gronkowski is how to finish. He has a tendency to want to impose his will on opponents at the ends of plays, running them over and leaving them behind, or embarrassing them and their loved ones by dragging them for inordinate amounts of time as he churns forward for extra yards. 

But in recent years, he's accepted that not every play needs to end with an exclamation point. He has come to understand that oftentimes a simple period will do.

Take his 37-yard catch against the Steelers, for example. When he got near the sideline and faced down a Pittsburgh defensive back, instead of trying to trample him to get to the goal line, he lowered his pads, shielded his legs, and went down.

"You always got to protect yourself whenever you can," he said. "You know, when the journey is done, if you’re running the ball, just get down and don’t take that extra shot. You can always show your toughness, you can have five guys take you down, but really that’s sometimes not the case. 

"You really want to show that you just want to get down, you want to preserve your body for the next play when the journey is done and you’re not going to get any more yards."

More often than not, it's the prudent choice. Mature, even. 

"It started coming in the last few years," Gronkowski said. "I remember a couple times my rookie year I'd just try and ‘Boom!' I remember I’d be like, ‘Oh, that one hurt.’ It hurt to go one more inch. 

"Definitely, when the journey is over and you know you gave it all -- you’re not going to be able to carry five guys, sometimes not even two guys -- whenever you just feel like you need to get down, you need to get down. It’s a physical game. Every play is going to be physical so save it for the next one."

Spoken like a savvy veteran.