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Haynesworth: Housecleaning Of Veterans Didn’t Help Bucs’ Pursuit

Posted Mar 2, 2009 by Anwar S. Richardson

Updated Mar 3, 2009 at 08:16 AM

Many people have wondered why defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth signed with Washington instead of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and he finally explains why.

Haynesworth was on The Monty Show on Sporting News Radio today. He spoke about his hesitation to sign with Tampa Bay the day after they cut Derrick Brooks and other veteran starters.  Haynesworth also spoke about the Redskins losing Jason Taylor today and also said he would have come back to Tennessee had they “stepped up.”

Here is the audio:

Bucs Housecleaning Affected Haynesworth Decision

Here is the transcript provided by The Monty Show on Sporting News Radio:

You came from a team that had great success last year, do you think you can have that same success quickly in Washington?
“I really think so, that was the one thing looking into it, because we did have both the same money on the table and everybody knows that one was from Tampa.  I looked at the roster of the Redskins and looked at the roster of the Bucs and they cut a lot of starters, I mean they were older guys, but they cut five starters the day before.  And then you look at the skins and their team wasn’t old, and it’s not young, it’s in that middle age group like my age type of guys.  And you know having all the names we do that are really good players out there, even great players, I definitely thought we had a great shot at making a nice run for the playoffs and hopefully winning our division and getting deep in the playoffs.”

If Derrick Brooks had not been cut, would you have gone to Tampa?
“Yeah, it was a few things we looked at.  You couldn’t really say that, but cutting a bunch of those guys and having a bunch of new starters didn’t help the situation any.  I felt comfortable with Raheem, he seemed to be a good person and he’s going to be a good coach, and I thought they had a lot of upside. But then they started whacking people, I guess they wanted to have that fresh new look and that’s what they went for.  It didn’t really scare me off, but it didn’t really help the situation.”

Was there ever a chance you were going to stay in Tennessee?
“yeah, don’t get me wrong, I love Tennessee.  I think it’s a great state… I was drafted by the Titans, I played at the University of Tennessee, my kids grew up here in Tennessee so far, they were all born here.  So I have strong roots and I’m going to keep my house in Knoxville and uh yeah, I would have come back if they would have gotten up but honestly they didn’t really make a strong push for me, I mean not as strong as I thought it should have been.  So that’s when I decided to look elsewhere.”

How do you feel about the Washington defense minus Jason Taylor?
“Well you know what, I honestly… it’s still a good defense even if you don’t have Jason Taylor you’re still going to have a good defense.  And expect that Dan Snyder is going to go out and look a D-End that he can get to play in place of Jason.  If you can so call replace Jason Taylor.”