'Time for sleeping giant to awake'

September, 8, 2011
9/08/11
11:53
AM ET


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth spoke with reporters Thursday at Gillette Stadium, expressing excitement about his regular-season debut with the Patriots on Monday night.

"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 his locker this morning.

Asked about life as a "sleeping giant", Haynesworth said, "I read what you guys wrote, nothing personal, but I didn't do much in D.C. 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."

Haynesworth shared thoughts on why he's so happy in New England.

"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."

Haynesworth added more thoughts about the Patriots when asked about the team naming six captains Wednesday -- Tom Brady, Logan Mankins, Matthew Slater, Jerod Mayo, Vince Wilfork and Devin McCourty.

"I think it's great," Haynesworth said of the team's leadership. "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. 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."

Asked what he likes about the Patriots' scheme, Haynesworth's answer was "everything."

"We're just getting after it," he said. "Coach Belichick is a great coach and he uses what he has."

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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