By Adam Hart
If Albert Haynesworth's resume in New England is "outstanding," you've got him fooled.
Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett told reporters in a conference call Wednesday, "Haynesworth's done an outstanding job for them."
Yes, the same Albert Haynesworth who's registered two tackles and zero sacks in three games with the Patriots. Whether he's been an otherwise "disruptive force" is in the eye of the beholder. And all Haynesworth's seeing is kind words.
"Aww, that's very generous of him," Haynesworth said of Garrett's remarks, in a Quick Slants interview with CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran. "But I haven't even scratched the surface yet. I could play a lot better and play a lot of things a lot better."
He told reporters Wednesday he considers himself a perfectionist, never looking to "slack" when he could be improving on a sack or tackle he's made. Even if, as is the case now, he hasn't made many.
"If I ain't making every tackle, every sack, every pass defense, you know I'm not satisfied," he said.
But that work ethic and desire isn't the impression given off by his time with the Washington Redskins. Those two years in Washington are part of a long rap sheet that's caused him to be misunderstood, he says.
"With media guys, they put their little spin on it," Haynesworth told Curran. "Everybody I've always met, they've always said you're nothing like what they say on TV or write in the paper about you. Everybody I met here, they thought I was going to be some stuck-up guy or something like that, and I'm just one of the guys. I don't want to be any different from anybody else. I want to be treated the same. I don't want that high-profile status."
Why? Because success is hard.
"It's kind of a give and take. Yeah, you get things for being successful and famous, but it's a little bit of a curse," he told Curran.
Same goes for money. Haynesworth has been said to be motivated by it solely, and that any success on the playing field is a byproduct of that hunt for cash. But everything's not always coming up roses for a wealthy athlete like him, especially when targeted by "business people."
"They really try to get at athletes and I've been taken a lot, being so generous I guess and thinking things will work out," Haynesworth told Curran. "If I could tell any young professional athletes, it's keep your money, get it with a great financial adviser and put it away."
It's a difficult lesson learned, but one that has Haynesworth more aware of his surroundings off the field.
Now how about on it?