Haynesworth: Chance to restore name

August, 2, 2011
8/02/11
4:50
PM ET


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Veteran defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth met with reporters for the first time since he was acquired by the Patriots in a trade, and said he is looking forward to the chance to restore his name from a football standpoint.

[+] EnlargeAlbert Haynesworth
AP Photo/Winslow TownsonAlbert Haynesworth sees his trade to the Patriots as a chance at a fresh start.
"It's a great chance to be on a great team; it's a chance, I guess, to restore my name or whatever you want to say," Haynesworth said. "Just a great chance to get back on the field and play football."

Asked what he meant by restoring his name, he said, "Just to show that Albert Haynesworth can still play football."

As for his past transgressions, he said, "Everything is in the past. I'm leaving all that stuff back in Washington. Right now, I'm just concentrating on being a great player for this organization. ... Forget about all that stuff. It's all in the past. It's all about now, re-writing my name as Albert Haynesworth the Patriot."

Other Haynesworth soundbites:

On his role on the defense. "Just to kill the quarterback."

The Patriots' scheme. "It's somewhat of an adjustment from what I was doing the last two years, but I'm kind of getting back to things I normally used to do. I just have to get my legs wet again and then I'll be OK."

Teaming up with Vince Wilfork at DT. "It's going to be scary, scary for other teams. ... I went to the Pro Bowl with Vince and the funny thing is, I said 'What if we were on the same team?' He was like, 'That would be crazy, there's no way that's going to happen.' But 2, 3 years later, here we are."

On a fresh start. "Of course. It's a new team, a great organization. I've been a fan of this team for a long time, other than when I was playing them. I always liked the Patriots."

Why he's been a fan of the team. "I always liked Coach Belichick, just the way he did things, the way the team performed. I came to games when I was in the pro's. I came in the AFC Championship when they were playing San Diego [in the 2007 season]. I was sitting up in the stands, freezing my butt off and sat down and watched them play. I've always been a fan of this team." [Rodney Harrison provided the tickets.]

If he feels in good shape. "Yeah, yeah, I feel all right [but] I'm still rusty. I haven't played hardly any, but now I'm getting to a role where I can play, so I have to definitely get my legs back under me."

On playing a 3-4 defense and possibly two-gapping. "I'm willing to attack the quarterback, kill the running back, and knock everything back. ... I don't care what it is. Whatever gap the ball is in, that's the gap I want to be in."

If he'd consider himself a high-motor player. "High-motor? A high-motor player is like Kyle Vanden Bosch, guys that run around non-stop like they got batteries up their butt. That's not me."

His view of Bill Belichick. "From being outside, I don't know, just the way he handled the team and everything. Now being inside, he's very detail-oriented and he demands perfection every single time. I've been with some really good teams, with a lot of great players, but I've never been in a situation where it's like perfection every time -- not for a person, but for a team."

How that will push him. "It's going to be awesome. I enjoy being here. It's a refresher, I love it, and it kind of revived me, playing football again."

What has surprised him most. "Just being here, how everybody takes you in, like I'm part of the family already. I met with Coach and we had a great conversation. I met with Mr. Kraft and we had a great conversation. Pep [Pepper Johnson]. Everything has been great, from the players, even some of the fans I ran into it. Everybody here has been awesome."

How much responsibility he takes for off-field issues. "I mean, it's all got my name on it, but I'm just going to leave that in the past, leave that in Washington, and have a fresh, new clean start here in New England."

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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