The topic was Albert Haynesworth, or rather the topic was Rod Woodson and Solomon Wilcox calling Albert Haynesworth out on the NFL Network. Now this is pretty common place these days and I won't wade into the merits of those who think he is wrong for sitting out the offseason program and those who think he is well within his rights to do so. But I do want to examine something Wilcox said and then the blogger, Dan Steinberg's, fact check of it.
Solomon Wilcox made this claim:
"Can I just say this?" Wilcots requested. "Go back and play the soundbites at his press conference when he signed his contract. He said, 'I'm here to do whatever the Redskins need me to do to win.' Now they need him to play a zero technique, and he's kind of changing his game a little bit. But he did cash the check."
I could go all day arguing over whether Haynesworth taking the money means he should do whatever the team asks of him but instead Id like to focus on whether or not he actually said he would do "whatever the Redskins need me to do to win."
Steinberg took a look back at Haynesworth's presser and found these quotes.
"After talking to the coaches, I didn't talk about any money, I was talking to the coaches and seeing ˜How are you going to use me?' Regardless of the money, I wanted to see how they were going to use me, so I wouldn't just go someplace and be another guy. I wanted to be that same player, that dominant guy, and if you're going to use me that way, that's where I want to go....
"If you look at my game, I'm a player that goes straight forward. I'm a disruptive player, I take on the double-team, I free up other guys, and that's what I want to play like. I want to be able to attack my guy, make plays, and everybody to make plays off me. So that's what I want to do. I want to do the same thing I did in Tennessee, but now I'm surrounded by a star-studded cast in my defense here.
Now unless there is a part of Haynesworth's presser where he contradicted himself its pretty clear that from this section of what he said that how he would be used within the defense was a primary driver of where he would sign. Now Haynesworth could have just been blowing smoke, but what he said is what he said. It appears that Solomon Wilcox totally pulled that "whatever the Redskins need me to do" quote out of his ass and made it up out of whole cloth. Since Steinberg himself was the one performing the fact check on the quote I would have thought he would have used it to blast Wilcox and call him out. I was wrong.
Want to know what came after the quotes?
So that's at least part of what he said. Either way, Haynesworth's camp is sure losing this PR war.
Excuse me but uhmmm WHAT THE FUCK?!
Why go through the trouble of digging up the quotes to fact check Wilcox if you aren't going to point out that it refutes what Wilcox said? Especially when the words Wilcox attributed to Haynesworth seemed to only serve the purpose to try to make his refusal to give the Redskins new 3-4 scheme a try just that more egregious?
I can understand that maybe Steinberg was worried that by pushing back too hard he might be seen as defending Haynesworth but really it would just be him doing his job. If he is going to go through the trouble of fact checking Wilcox and in fact finding information that shows what Wilcox said was false, he can't then just back off and leave it to the reader to decide who was right and who was wrong. No matter if people are on Haynesworth's side or the Redskins' side of this argument some things are set out in black and white and if a member of the media lies or misspeaks its up to other members of the media to point that out. Just the same way that if Haynesworth lied about something pertaining to Solomon Wilcox or Rod Woodson I would expect the media to call him out as well. That, to me, is all a part of the job.
I just wish someone would start doing it...