Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, who signed a seven-year, $100 million contract with the Redskins last year ($41 million of which was guaranteed), has been in the headlines a lot lately.
As we all know at this point, Haynesworth is unhappy with the Redskins' switch from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 base set, and despite the fact that he has taken tens of millions of dollars from Redskins owner Dan Snyder, he has chosen to express his displeasure by staying away from the Skins' OTAs.
Haynesworth was fined $10,000 by the team for skipping a recent mandatory minicamp, and while he has now said that he plans on showing up to training camp, the big man has caused a big stir around the league with his attitude and actions.
Ray Lewis, never one to shy away from expressing his true feelings on a topic, was recently asked about the Haynesworth situation during a call-in to 106.7 The Fan in Washington. The Ravens' linebacker delivered a passionate response, called the defensive tackle's actions selfish and disrespectful.
Below are Lewis' comments, courtesy of Dan Steinberg of The Washington Post:
"Your days of long suffering, of pain, of working out and countless hours of suffering, they're for a reason," Lewis said. "To fulfill a legacy, chasing something. And nowadays, where everything gets this dispute here, and I don't want to do this, I don't want to do that. See, when I was coming up, we didn't have that choice, to tell an adult -- no matter who it was -- what we weren't gonna do.
"I mean, I don't have to create a response. The response is, whatever you want me to do coach, let's get it done. If you want to switch the defense because you think it'll work better in a 3-4 -- I played in a 4-3 my whole life, but we switched up to a 3-4.
"Ok, Ray, you're gonna have to take on more guards, you're gonna have to do this and that.
"Ok, coach, I'll adjust. Do I like it? Hmm, nah. But I'll adjust, so let's do it, you know what I'm saying? And through that process, I won the defensive player of the year in the 4-3 in 2000, and in 2003 I came back and won the defensive player of the year in the 3-4. So it don't matter. Bottom line. Bottom line. Football is football, man...
"No matter what the scheme is, y'all work together as businessmen to get it done. Because that's ultimately what it is, it's a business, so let's come to work and let's work together to figure this out. Ok, what best fits you? Ok, well, let's go to this sometimes, and then sometimes you don't like it, then we'll switch back to a 4-3, so play with that. But all of this? No, too much. Too much.
"Without even going long-winded, the word is, bottom line, respect. The power of respect is never to disrespect. That's it. Just don't ever disrespect the game, because the game will be here, always. Always. All of our time has to pass, and bro, I don't speak down on him at all. I would love to have a conversation with him, to say to [whom] much is given much is required, brother.
"Sometimes you got to do things you ain't want to do to get something you ain't never got. So be ok with it. But you can't always win selfishly. If you always win selfishly, then I don't know what the walk of Jesus ever represented then. You're not winning. You're not winning. And that's the things that I would relate to him. Going back to answer the question, if I was one of the spokesmen or leaders on that team, I would say bro, look, I understand you. But look, let's work this out another way. Let's get pissed of at somebody that we gotta deal with for 16 weeks.
"And whatever it takes for brotherhood to be formed, that's what needs to be done. You can take it off the field and I still preach it to every young man that i speak to: do not try to walk through this life by your self. That's a lonely war. That's a lonely war. And when you find yourself in the midst, in the midst of these peaks and valleys, it's too much to deal with yourself bro. And money blinds all of us. Money ain't the root of all evil, it's the love of it, and these are the things that are being lost."