The sleepy-time act is behind him, Albert Haynesworth declared today. His new team, the New England Patriots, opens the season Monday against Miami and he’s ready for prime time.
“It’s time for me, the sleeping giant, to awake and get back out there on the field and play football again,” Haynesworth told reporters at Gillette Stadium.
Some who watched his career in Washington might say it was more like hibernation than slumber, but why quibble at this point over his eyes wide shut act? No. 92 is in New England and eager to play some football. Which figures.
“I read what you guys wrote, nothing personal, but I didn't do much in D.C.,” he said “The scheme didn't fit me and that stuff. Now I can go out there and play get back to what I used to do.”
Naturally, the subject of D.C. came up, hopefully for the last time, and there were some comments that might be perceived as being shots. “For two years, I was kind of taken out of football a little bit, and now I'm back in it,” he said. “I'm truly enjoying the game again. I'm truly enjoying coming in to practice and coming in to work every day. Just to be able to have a chance again to play and to show what I can do is awesome.”
The Patriots named six team captains Wednesday and Haynesworth said he thinks that’s “great.”
“The last two years [with the Redskins], it was a little different, the captains were almost above the team. Here, with Mayo and Vince, you can talk to the guys. It's not something you couldn't do in D.C., but here it's really like a family in the locker room. Everyone is for you,” he said. “No matter what happens, if a guy does something or whatever, it doesn't matter, they're all behind him. They're not going to pass judgment or anything like that. It's all about everybody being for you, everybody having your back.”
And, lastly, Haynesworth said he likes “everything” about the Patriots’ defensive scheme. “We're just getting after it,” he said. “Coach [Bill] Belichick is a great coach and he uses what he has.”