Albert Haynesworth hints at why he might just be a perfect fit with these Patriots
|08.02.11 at 8:00 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Beyond the predictable questions about his his questionable past with the Titans and the Redskins, Albert Haynesworth wanted Patriots fans to know one thing when he spoke to reporters for the first time Tuesday afternoon – I won’t try to kill your quarterback anymore. Tom Brady doesn’t have to worry but the other quarterbacks in the league are fair game.
“Yeah, you know what? The first thing, I said ‘Hey Tom, what’s up?’ And he was like, ‘Hey, you’re not going to be hitting me anymore,’ So it’s kind of funny,” Haynesworth said.
Haynesworth has a much better tie to the Patriots on the defensive side of the ball, naturally.
“I went to the Pro Bowl with Vince [Wilfork]. And the funny thing is, when were at the Pro Bowl, I said ‘Man, what if we were on the same team?’ And he said ‘Oh dude, that would be crazy.’ He said, ‘No way that’s going to happen.’ But shoot, two, three years later, here we are.
“That’s going to be scary. It’s going to be scary for other teams.”
Funny Haynesworth uses that description because no doubt that’s how Brady felt in the preseason of 2009 when the Patriots paid a visit to Landover, Md. to battle the Redskins and Mr. Haynesworth.
Brady was making his first appearance back from reconstructive knee surgery in 2008. Haynesworth – in his first game with the Redskins since signing his seven-year, $100 million deal – got a clear path to Brady and crushed him, landing squarely on his shoulder. Brady’s knee would be fine that season in 2009 but he had to deal with an aching throwing shoulder all season.
“My best friend, he lives here. I’ve been up here a bunch of times secretly, so I knew kind of how people were here. I remember that one time, I guess I was in [Washington] and I hit Tom ‘ I guess it was in the preseason game and landed on his shoulder or something. I got a lot of angry texts from 508 numbers up here. So, I knew everybody was cool and they loved their team.
Then there was the more serious question, who was to blame last year in Washington when new coach Mike Shanahan would not pass him on the conditioning test for the longest time, in part because Haynesworth got tired of it.
“It was just the way they had it, the way they wanted to play. No deal to me. I knew I could still play, so I got a chance to come here and play football. They’re going to put me on the field here and they’re going to let me play and it’s going to be fun.”
Does he still have something to prove?
“No, no, forget about that stuff; it’s all in the past,” he insisted. “It’s all about now ‘ rewriting my name as Albert Haynesworth the Patriot.
“I always liked Coach Belichick, just the way he did things, the way the team performed,” Haynesworth said. “I’ve come to games when I was in the pros. I came, I think it was here, when they played the 2008 AFC Championship, I want to say they were playing San Diego, and I was sitting up in the stands freezing my butt off. I sat there and watched them play. I’ve always been a fan of this team.”
How much did he pay for the tickets to that playoff game here?
Rodney Harrison gave them to me, actually. I might still owe him something, I don’t know. He hasn’t hit me up. I called him a couple days before to see if I could get them.
Only one problem, they were not comfy club seats but rather in the upper section, above where the Patriots come out on the field.
“Yeah I know, that’s not right,” Haynesworth joked. “But they said the family section was kind of up there or whatever. I can’t remember where we were sitting, but we watched the team come in, they were right below us as they came in for the start of the game. I can’t tell you where that is in the stadium. It was up there, but I still got a good seat.”