For some of you, this is old news, but Arizona Cardinals' LB Darnell Dockett had some poignant words for Albert Haynesworth and the entire Redskins organization last week during an interview on the Lavar and Dukes show on DC's 106.7 the Fan.
Dockett is a respected figure in NFL circles and his words against Washington likely summed up the consensus around the league regarding the Redskins.
Dockett, born and raised in the District, was asked if he would ever consider joining the Redskins in the future.
Dockett was careful to complement Redskins fans first, but then went on a stunning monologue in which he literally tore certain Redskin players limb from limb.
"This is one of the biggest cities with the most fans that are just dedicated [to] that team," Dockett said. "But there's a lot of things I don't like. There's a lot of things they do that I couldn't accept as being a leader. You know, I've never seen an organization that would go out and lose on Sunday and throw a party Sunday night after a loss. I couldn't adapt to that.
I could see me playing [there], but there would have to be a lot of things changing, because I'm a winner. I don't feel the need to play football and not want to win on Sundays, and I think winning comes with a perfect week of preparation, not being in the clubs, dedicating myself for 16-plus weeks of football. This is what you do, this is what you get paid millions of dollars to do, and that's what it's all about. It's not about partying every day of the week, celebrating one win. It's about piling up 9, 10 wins in a row, and winning a title, and getting a division, and getting into the playoffs. That's more important to me."
As much as I'm sure it pains fans to say, Dockett couldn't be more correct. Certain Redskins' players have not been 100 percent committed to winning. And we don't need to speculate which players because Dockett proceeded to call them out.
He rightfully trashed Clinton Portis, who has been more of a hindrance than a help the past year and a half.
"I couldn't play with him," Dockett said. "I couldn't play with a guy like that. From what I'm hearing in the locker room, me personally, I couldn't play with a guy like that. I've never played, since I've been in the NFL, with a guy that selfish, I've never played with guys where it was all about them, I've never played with guys that don't practice."
Portis skipped the majority of the in-season practices last season and missed 8 games following a concussion he sustained mideseason. He also publicly criticized the former coaching staff and QB Jason Campbell on separate occasions.
Portis is on his last legs with the Redskins. If he can't come through in 2010, he will be done in Washington. There are those who believe Portis can still be an effective back, but with Mike Shanahan bearing down, Portis is down to his last chance.
Dockett hit the nail on the head in every aspect. Washington has long been bogged down by bloated contracts and egos that have kept the franchise sidetracked. Until the guys at the top set a consistent precedent of demanding the best from their employees, we will never see the team seriously contend.
Dockett addressed the Haynesworth situation as well. He is furious at Haynesworth for taking the money and then not performing. Dockett expects that Haynesworth's dud 2009 season will kill the recent spike in the dollar amounts of contracts for defensive linemen. Dockett is hoping to land a fat contract himself and feels that Haynesworth is hurting his case for big money.
"I was kind of disappointed to see him [not] want to be a part of anything after he got that money," Dockett said. "He's making it harder for guys like myself---guys like Aubrayo Franklin in San Francisco, guys like Jay Ratliff in Dallas---These guys [are] going out and balling everyday, showing up to OTAs and camps that [aren't] even mandatory. We got to come and put down our work and show these teams that we want to get paid and you've got a guy that's one of the highest paid defensive tackles in the league and [he's] not even showing up. I mean, you're making it harder for us to get paid."
Dockett was clearly frustrated with Haynesworth, and he bashed him some more without even trying to be subtle.
"I think he's a dominant player when he wants to be. When he has his mind right he can go out there and play for how [ever] many plays he can play in a row---for whatever that's worth."
Tell us how you really feel, Darnell.
Special thanks to Dan Steinberg from the DC Sports Bog for transcribing part of the interview. Yours truly took care of the parts involving Haynesworth.