When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers claimed Albert Haynesworth off waivers yesterday, Bucs fans had a wide range of reactions. Some people liked the move, as the Buccaneers have had a horrible defense this season and only look to get worse with Gerald McCoy out for the season. To them, Haynesworth is a low-risk option that has the potential to pay off big. To others, though, the Haynesworth claim was an atrocious idea worthy of many, many four-letter words.
To present these reactions visually, here are the first three comments posted on the Bucs Nation article on Haynesworth's signing:
Neither reaction is necessarily wrong. Haynesworth does have amazing upside and he's a low cost, low risk gamble, but at the same time, he's proven to be nothing but a headache and a disastrous clubhouse presence in both Washington and New England. For all his talent, there's a reason he's been released twice within the past two years.
So why did General Manager Mark Dominik decide to take this gamble? In an interview with reporters last night, he explained his thought-process behind the move:
I've read the articles. What I did was I went to the film. I watched 134 of his snaps this year, twice. I watched every game twice. I watched how he played, his effort, his motor, what they asked him to do and what he did do. I watched the play where Brandon Jacobs scored a touchdown and (Haynesworth) didn't play another snap again for the New England Patriots. But I wanted to watch who he was as a person and as a player. That, to me, was the most important thing first.
He can be strong, powerful, dominating. He's disruptive still. He can overpower his opponent. When I see him shoot a gap, he still can play football. He's not one of these older players who can't play football anymore. I just want him to play our way.
I counted seven quarterback pressures, No. 1. That was important. I counted about 15 disruption plays. I counted eight total tackles, which isn't tremendous. But again, he's playing in a 2-gap system. I've always felt that Albert Haynesworth is a 1-gap player, and I feel Albert Haynesworth feels that way too. (Quotes from Stephen Holder, St. Pete Times)
Dominik also notes that he wouldn't have made this move if Gerald McCoy was still healthy, but the Bucs are attempting to win and he wanted to fill McCoy's spot with the best player available.
Like the move or hate it, Dominik put a large amount of time and thought into it, and he's shown he's willing to take a gamble to help the Bucs win now. All that we can do now is wait and see how it turns out.