Robert Kraft talks about 2011 season, Chad Ochocinco, Albert Haynesworth, fantasy football
|08.30.11 at 5:24 pm ET|
FOXBORO ‘ Patriots owner Robert Kraft conducted a tour of the new Putnam Club at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday afternoon. After the walkthrough, he spoke on a handful of topics. Here are some of the highlights:
Any discussions on moving Thursday’s game to New Jersey?
‘If in fact we … I didn’t know how long the power would be off. We thought we might. They moved their game from Saturday night to last night, so we had a chance to see that game. But we didn’t know. And we don’t know, I think everything is still by a thread. There’s not backup systems, and please God, things continue to improve and everyone gets power in this state.’
On how the Patriots look this season:
‘Well, it’s preseason, so I’ve learned ‘¦ I remember in  that the Detroit Lions went 4-0 and looked great and then went 0-16. I’m just going to try to wait until the regular season starts. In fairness, and believe me, I can understand how people wouldn’t have been happy with the effort the other night. I know I wasn’t in every part of the game. But the same kind of game planning doesn’t go on to attack teams weaknesses. It’s a more fluid situation. I think we’ll know better come September 12 what kind of team [this is]. We’ll watch the first three or four weeks of games, and we’ll get an idea of what kind of team we really have. Until then, it’s all speculation ‘ which is fine.’
How excited are you to kick off the season?
‘Very excited. There hasn’t been a season that I’ve been more excited about. I’m happy football is back. I can tell you I happened to be in the locker room telling guys about the new Putnam Club. They just had come from practice. And they’re excited about this season. They’re really excited. We think we have a great team, but once the games begin, we’ll really know that.’
Have you gotten to know Ochocinco at all?
‘Yeah. Yes. I tell you, he’s a lot different ‘ both he and Albert Haynesworth ‘ are a lot different than in my opinion that the media has portrayed them. He’s very self-contained and works very hard, and I know [he] wants to do well. He and Brady seem to have a great rapport. Haynesworth has been a gentleman. I don’t know if you’ve heard him speak ‘ he’s not the image on the NFL Network with that mean face ‘ I hope he is mean during the games. But everything I’ve seen. he’s a very likable fellow, and I hope both of them make great contributions. But we have a lot of great young players who are developing on this team, so I’m excited about this season.’
What excites you the most about this season?
‘I think we have a bunch of core veterans and I think a lot of young players who will hopefully come into their own this year. When I saw young players I mean people like Patrick Chung ‘ a lot of young players like that. I think to be good in the NFL, you need that balance, and especially this year, where there has not been a lot of offseason activities, I think the balance of core veterans and young players who have had a year or two in the league gives you a chance.’
It doesn’t hurt having a good quarterback:
‘The best player ‘ in my opinion ‘ the best player in the NFL helps. Because he touches the ball 70 or 80 times, and that can be pretty important. So we’re very fortunate to have him on our team. And I think we have a pretty good coach and coaching staff too. I think when you put it all together, you need good fortune, because no one knows what’s going to happen, and that’s the reason all your media companies pay the NFL the fees they do, because whether it’s an owner, coach, quarterback or any players, no one knows what’s going to happen at every game, and that’s what keeps the excitement. I know a lot of us are doing fantasy football. I’m doing it with one my grandchildren, but I want to see their wives and my granddaughters get into it. You have to help us figure out how we get more female involvement in fantasy football.’
The problem is your fantasy team has all New England Patriots players:
‘You’re right. [Laughter] Actually, I shouldn’t be saying that ‘ I don’t even know if I’m allowed to [play]. I’m an adviser in the fantasy football league. I hope I’m allowed to play.’