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Pepper Johnson says he can’t believe what he’s read about Albert Haynesworth

08.14.11 at 2:00 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Pepper Johnson wanted to make it clear in his briefing with reporters on Sunday that he has no preconceived notions about working with Albert Haynesworth. As a matter of fact, the Patriots defensive line coach said he couldn’t be happier to work with the man who came to New England in late July with a checkered and unflattering reputation as a troublemaker.

“He’s very unlike a lot of what you read about,” said Johnson, who took the place of coach Bill Belichick in the team’s daily press briefing. “I was thinking, ‘What am I really going to have to deal with?’ I’m coaching whatever player comes up in here, it doesn’t matter to me, but Albert is a great guy. It’s kind of hard to see some of the things you hear, negative about him, coming from that person.

“You need to know both sides of the story,” Johnson added. “I think Albert is a great person. He’s been trying to work his way out on the field. He’s been tremendous in the classroom to date. I’m expecting a lot from him.”

Johnson told reporters that his responsibility is to get the players along the defensive line ready to play the defense that Belichick wants to run. Johnson said that hasn’t been a problem with Haynesworth.

“I think he’s excited about being here,” Johnson said. “He’s excited about playing football, and of course, he’s one of the best defensive linemen in the league so I’m quite sure he’s going to make a big difference.”

Read More: 2011 training camp, Albert Haynesworth, Bill Belichick, New England Patriots
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