Albert Haynesworth to the Patriots: Really?
Albert Haynesworth going to the Patriots was a stunner. Not that Bill Belichick doesn't have a track record of success with disgruntled players, but Haynesworth seems like an odd fit. First of all, the main reason that Haynesworth didn't like Washington was they wanted him to play in a 3-4 defense that didn't allow him to rush the passer. The Patriots 3-4 defense asks even more out of their defensive linemen. The Patriots are a true 2-gap team relying on the defensive line to basically stop the run from the outside gap of the offensive tackles to the center. It is not easy. It takes defensive linemen with a team first attitude because their statistics will never reflect their contribution to the team. I thought the great Patriots teams of the last decade were fueled by Tom Brady and their defensive line that never got much credit.
Will Haynesworth be willing to play in that system and not bring down one of the most solid locker rooms in the NFL. It is risky. The good news for Haynesworth is he will not have to play nose tackle like he was asked to do in Washington. I'm sure he will play the 5 technique which is always the key position in Belichick's style of defense. Albert Haynesworth is a soft spoken, bright guy who is not at all like the guy I had imagined him to be. However, he has proven that if he is not happy, the teams needs are secondary. Bill Belichick wants guys who believe football is important in their lives. I would not have put Haynesworth at the top of that list.