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Bill Belichick on Big Show: Albert Haynesworth could play Saturday

08.22.11 at 6:42 pm ET
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Patriots coach Bill Belichick joined Glenn Ordway, Michael Holley and Tedy Bruschi on Monday’s edition of The Big Show at Gillette Stadium. The coach said that defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, who has not been practicing due to injury and is day-to-day, could potentially play in the Patriots’ third preseason game Saturday in Detroit. Despite saying the possibility existed, Belichick hardly made Haynesworth’s playing status for Saturday a sure thing.

“If he’s ready, yeah,” Belichick said when asked if Haynesworth could play Saturday.

Asked whether he was ready, Belichick responded, “Well I don’t know. He’s day-to-day.”

“I can’t [elaborate],” Belichick said when asked for more details. “We’ll go out there tomorrow, and if he’s ready to go, he’ll practice. If he’s not, then he’ll do the other things to get ready to go, and then we’ll try it again on Wednesday.”

Here are some highlights of the interview:

ON IMPORTANCE OF GAME 3 OF PRESEASON: I think are all important. Every game is an opportunity for us to improve and every time we can take a step closer to being ready opening day and ready for the 16 game season that’s progress. I certainly hope we play better than we did in the third preseason game last season.

ON THE KICKOFF RULE CHANGE FROM A COACHING STANDPOINT: There is a lot less information. We’re seeing a lot of touchbacks, so you can evaluate parts of the play, how they get off, their downfield speed, how they avoid the first-line of blockers, but without the return you don’t get to see the whole play. We’ve had a lot of that in practice, so we will try and evaluate that, but it is not the same as getting those plays in the game. You can’t really see those players improve because there is not the number of plays to work with. It is what it is, we will evaluate what we have.

We will just have to go with what we got, but it is not the ideal situation to evaluate from. There have been a lot of players make the team, I can remember showing those tapes after the first couple kickoff practices and say put this guy on the first special teams, and have him on the first kickoff team because of the way he practiced and the way he covers them in the game.

ON THE KICKOFF RETURN: I think the kickoff return is a great play. It is one of the most exciting plays in a game. It can be a great momentum play in the game for the return team, because the other team just scored and you have a chance to answer with good field position. It can be a great momentum play for putting the defensive in good field position. The purpose of the rule was player safety, but those guys that are running down full speed and if they are running from the 30 to the 30 they are still running pretty fast when they get there inside the 30, so I don’t think they have slowed down any. We have just eliminated kickoff returns, with touchbacks.

ON NEW STRATEGY: It is the same for everybody, so we will make the best out of it . Philosophically, plays that are non plays shouldn’t be in the game, I don’t think it is good for the game. Like extra points, when the odds are 99 percent range in extra points it is not a play. Lets move the ball back to the 15-20 yard line and not make it a tap in. Let them kick it. Same thing with the kickoff return, if you’re just going to put the ball on the 20, put the ball on the 20. If we’re going to have kickoff returns, there is a reason why the competition committee and the league moved the kickoff yard line back from the 40 to the 35 to the 30 and keep that play in the game, but now it seems like it is heading the other way.

ON DANE FLETCHER: “He really has made a good transition, like [Tedy Bruschi] did, like Harry Carson, did. Not just guys that played defensive end, but guys that played in the interior part of the line, but Dane has done a nice job in the past year, and starting this year, picking up where he left off last year in terms of becoming a better coverage player, more aware behind the line of scrimmage. He’s always been pretty good at attacking and going forward like his training was in college as a defensive lineman, but his courage sills and his ability to recognize things from behind the line and rush the quarterback from depth as apposed to being in a three-point stance have all improved.”

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