This is certain. The only real question is “how much?”
Albert Haynesworth was THE guy. He was THE guy who commanded double teams and freed his defensive line mates to make plays. He helped former defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz successfully employ a dominant defense that did not rely heavily on the blitz.
Haynesworth was THE guy who would fight fatigue and force himself on the field during a game’s critical moments. Sure, the Titans used a defensive line rotation, but it was not a democracy.
Big Al was Chairman Mao. He was the big boss man.
Today, Haynesworth earns a lot of money after taking his talent (and injury history) to the nation’s capital.
The Titans now have a lot of good defensive tackles. Most of them are undersized by today’s football standards. They are competent and skilled.
But none of them has the combination of size, quickness, power and savvy of the NFL’s best defensive tackle.
How the Titans handle the loss of Albert Haynesworth will be The Story of the 2009 season. I intend to follow this story closely.
Will new defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil call for more blitzing? Will the offense pick up the slack?
Who, or what, will fill the void left by Albert Haynesworth?