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Bill Belichick ‘absolutely knew’ about legal issues of Albert Haynesworth

08.25.11 at 1:18 pm ET
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FOXBORO — After the arrival of Chad Ochocinco, Albert Haynesworth has been the single-biggest focal point of discussion in Patriots camp this week.

That continued on Thursday when Bill Belichick was asked if Haynesworth, who practiced for the third straight day Thursday, might play in his first preseason game this Saturday in Detroit.

“Obviously, players that are just coming back have a long way to go but it’s good to see all the players out there that have come back,” Belichick said. “We’ve had quite a few re-join us so that’s good. Every day they can get out there and practice and work on their skills, their techniques and start to work in their unit and start to develop that cohesiveness and that playing together, that’s good for them, good for the unit and good for the team.”

Then Albert Breer of the NFL Network began a 1-on-1 with Belichick on Haynesworth’s character and whether the Patriots knew of his legal issues when they traded for him before camp opened.

Was his absence the last two weeks due to injury?

“He missed practice because he wasn’t ready to practice,” Belichick answered.

Did he show up In shape?

“That’s as much as I can tell you,” Belichick said. “Players that are ready to practice, practice. The ones that aren’t don’t practice. When they’re ready, we put them out there.”

What about Haynesworth’s issues in Washington? How concerned were the Patriots?

“I can’t really tell you what happened anywhere else, Albert,” Belichick said. “I’m sure you can get a lot of details on him from somewhere else. But I can just tell you here when the players are ready to practice, they practice. When they’re not ready to practice, then they do what they need to get ready to practice. When they’re ready to go on the field, we put them out there on the field. It’s the same for everybody else.

“When they’re ready to practice, they practice. He was out there before that.”

Was it coincidence that Haynesworth returned to practice the day after he settled his simple assault case in Washington, D.C.?

“I don’t know,” Belichick said.

Were the Patriots aware of his legal issues?

“Sure we knew about it, yeah absolutely,” Belichick said. “We knew about it. I think whenever you acquire a player, you look into whatever information about a player, you do it, and we did it.”

You have to have a comfort level when a player can be a distraction?

“Obviously.”

As for Haynesworth, following Thursday’s practice, he politely declined comment to Breer and other reporters who asked him to talk about the return to practice this week and possibly playing in the game Saturday night.

Read More: Albert Breer, Albert Haynesworth, Bill Belichick, Chad Ochocinco
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