By: Derek Havens
Newly acquired defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth met with reporters for the first time since he was traded the Patriots. After yet another training camp practice, the veteran defensive lineman stopped to talk to the media for about eight minutes.
Haynesworth said he is looking forward to the chance to restore his name as a Patriot.
“It’s a great chance to be on a great team; it’s a chance, I guess, to restore my name or whatever you want to say. Just a great chance to get back on the field and play football.”
The often troubled lineman was surprisingly very polished during his interview. He also mentioned he has always been a fan of the Patriots and even attended the AFC Championship game against San Diego in 2007.
“I always liked Coach Belichick, just the way he did things, the way the team performed. I came to games when I was in the pro’s. I came in the AFC Championship when they were playing San Diego (2007 season). I was sitting up in the stands, freezing my butt off and sat down and watched them play. I’ve always been a fan of this team.”
When he was asked about his troubled past, he replied “Everything is in the past. I’m leaving all that stuff back in Washington. Right now, I’m just concentrating on being a great player for this organization.”
Haynesworth was asked how he perceived his new Head Coach, Bill Belichick, “From being outside, I don’t know, just the way he handled the team and everything. Now being inside, he’s very detail-oriented and he demands perfection every single time. I’ve been with some really good teams, with a lot of great players, but I’ve never been in a situation where it’s like perfection every time — not for a person, but for a team.”
On the Patriots defense and his role moving forward, “Just to kill the quarterback.” … It’s somewhat of an adjustment from what I was doing the last two years, but I’m kind of getting back to things I normally used to do. I just have to get my legs wet again and then I’ll be OK.”
He was also very excited about teaming up with All-Pro defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, “It’s going to be scary, scary for other teams. … I went to the Pro Bowl with Vince and the funny thing is, I said ‘What if we were on the same team?’ He was like, ‘That would be crazy, there’s no way that’s going to happen.’ But 2, 3 years later, here we are.”
Haynesworth mentioned multiple times that he was excited to actually get on the field and play. He was adamant that the problems of the past were just that, in the past. Seems that he is ready for a fresh start and a rebirth here in New England.
“It’s a new team, a great organization. I’ve been a fan of this team for a long time, other than when I was playing them. I always liked the Patriots… I don’t have to worry anymore. I am a New England Patriot.”
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