- Mike Shanahan:
Addressing the media for the first time since reports surfaced of renewed trade talks between the Redskins and Tennessee Titans involving moving Albert Haynesworth, coach Mike Shanahan took a strong stance on the defensive lineman.
He didn't exactly deny the trade talk, or say that Haynesworth will be active on Sunday, but Shanahan said he definitely will be a member of the team when the Redskins open the season against the Dallas Cowboys at FedEx Field on Sunday night.
"We’ve heard all these rumors and speculations," Shanahan said. "You want to talk about Dallas, we’ll talk about Dallas. Albert had a great practice today, he’ll be ready to go this weekend, and we’ll leave it at that."
A follow-up question directed at the coach. Would Haynesworth indeed be playing with the Redskins on Sunday. And the coach maintained his tight-lipped manner.
"We can go through our whole team, but like I told you before, I’m not going to tell you who’s going to dress at wide receiver, anything competitive advantage," Shanahan said.
The coach digressed into another instructional session of how reporters should not reveal who is practicing with the first and second teams, and reminded the media that they needed to "help him out" and ensure competitive advantage wasn't compromised.
The coach finally relented when another reporter peppered him for clarity, and he said, "Albert will be with our team on Sunday."
Shanahan said he wasn't worried about Haynesworth, or any of his other players being distracted by all the rumors of trades and turmoil, but he dismissed such a notion.
"No. Because all I have to do is, I get a chance to talk to players. I get to control what goes on in our locker room, so as long as I’m fine with him and he’s fine with me," Shanahan said. "You might not think that we ever communicate, but we do some times even though the sources don’t ever talk about us communicating, but we do.
"I just thought I’d help you guys," Shanahan added sarcastically. "I know you’ve got a job to do, so I thought I’d help you."
Shanahan was asked one final time if the Redskins' stance was firm on not trading Haynesworth, or if a better deal came up, would there be a chance that they would move him soon.
The coach shook his head and said, "Well, you never know, but if he wasn’t here, I think you’d call me a liar, wouldn’t you? And you’d have the right to do that. OK? Let me say it again, so you don't have to say it: Albert will be with us this week, for sure. I will talk about the Dallas Cowboys, to keep talking about this would be beating a dead horse."