The curtain closes in D.C.

Washington coach Mike Shanahan gave a detailed play-by-play Wednesday of why he felt compelled to suspend defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth.

In summary, Haynesworth was impossible to please.

"He didn't like the 4-3 defense a year ago," Shanahan said. "He didn't like the base defense. He didn't like the nickel defense. He didn't want to play nose tackle, didn't want to play defensive end [in the 3-4 defense].

"We got him playing the nickel package, first and second and third down. He didn't like first and second-down nickel, wanted to play third-down nickel in passing situations. Hey, it was just time. It was just time to go in another direction."

Shanahan then offered what may have been the most stunning statement of the season - "I haven't even discussed this situation with Dan."

Given Dan Snyder's history of hands-on ownership, that's a tsunami.

The take in the locker room was fatalistic.

"Albert probably don't care," said cornerback Carlos Rogers, noting the team had paid Haynesworth $41 million. "I don't think he'll miss $800,000."

Tough schedule

The Dallas Cowboys have played four games under new coach Jason Garrett and have faced Eli and Peyton Manning, plus Drew Brees. Next up is Michael Vick, another huge challenge for the Cowboys' defense.

Buried in Jersey

Every day in every way, New York coach Rex Ryan keeps showing that he remains obsessed with Bill Belichick and New England.

Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis told reporters the coach led the team out to the practice field in Florham Park, N.J., before the morning meeting.

Ryan then produced a game ball from the 45-3 rout in New England on Monday night and placed it in a freshly dug hole. Revis said that the team had no warning and that he'd never seen anything like that.

Oh? Word from New England is that Belichick did something similar after a loss to the Dolphins in 2001.

That must really hurt

Penquins owner and hockey Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux walked into the Pittsburgh Steelers' locker room, took one look at quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, and offered him the ultimate compliment.

"You look like a hockey player," Lemieux told Big Ben.

Roethlisberger, already in a boot to protect a sprained foot, now needs a shield to protect a broken nose. The proboscis was so splintered when Roethlisberger was smacked by Baltimore's Haloti Ngata on Sunday night, a doctor told him that the bones looked like corn flakes.

Belated birthday greetings

One of Cover-2's favorite personalities - future Hall of Fame receiver Terrell Owens - turned 37 on Tuesday.