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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?

‘€œIf 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:

‘€œWell, it’€™s preseason, so I’€™ve learned ‘€¦ I remember in [2008] 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?

‘€œVery 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?

‘€œYeah. 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?

‘€œI 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:

‘€œThe 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:

‘€œYou’€™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.’€

Read More: Albert Haynesworth, Chad Ochocinco, Patrick Chung, Robert Kraft



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