Haynesworth: Garrett's compliment 'generous'


Haynesworth: Garrett's compliment 'generous'

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?

Belichick on Long's sack: One of the best defensive plays of the year

Belichick on Long's sack: One of the best defensive plays of the year

It came against a rookie quarterback. It came against an offense that averages a league-worst 15.0 points per game. It came against an offense that has fewer yards than any other. 

Still there are signs that Bill Belichick is pretty pleased with where his defense is after beating the Rams 26-10 on Sunday. One came on Wednesday when Patriots.com published its "Belichick Breakdown" for a closer look at a handful of plays from the team's most recent win.

Belichick called his team's third-and-eight stop with about 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter "probably one of the best good, team defensive plays we've had all year."

The Patriots show a five-man front, but linebacker Kyle Van Noy feigns a rush only to drop into coverage.

"Van Noy in here does a good job on the rush," Belichick said, "and also on the coverage on the back. Just good team defense. Good pass coverage down the field. The quarterback really doesn't end up having a lot of time, but there's no one to throw it to right away."

Belichick noted that all four rushers -- Chris Long, Trey Flowers, Dont'a Hightower and Rob Ninkovich -- all are able to pressure Jared Goff on the play. Combined with strong coverage in the secondary, the Rams nver really had a chance.

Belichick said it looked like a "tidal wave" of defenders bearing down on the quarterback.

"Long wins here . . . on the inside spin," Belichick said, "and Trey Flowers and Hightower both win on the little twist game inside. Then that's Rob with good speed-to-power on [Rams tackle Rob] Havenstein on the outside. Four good rushers. Plus a fifth guy...Van Noy getting that two-for-one on the guard and the back.

"Good team defense. That's great to see. A lot of hard work an execution on the practice field to make that happen."

Harbaugh on Belichick: 'I feel like we have a good relationship'

Harbaugh on Belichick: 'I feel like we have a good relationship'

FOXBORO -- They sounded like a couple of old pals. 

First it was Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who spoke of Ravens coach John Harbaugh during a conference call like one of his favorite fellow lacrosse dads.

"John and I saw a game a couple of years ago, a [Johns] Hopkins vs. Maryland game," Belichick said, adding that Harbaugh's love for the sport is just starting to blossom. "Yeah, I think John is seeing the light."

Belichick added that the two might be closer if they weren't competing so often, both in-season on the field and for free agents in the offseason. 

"As you know, we get into a situation like we’re in now where they have a good team, we have a good team, we’re playing a big game on Monday night," Belichick said. "Both teams are going to do everything they can to compete as hard as they can on Monday night. That’s what it is and that’s what we all signed up for. We all know that’s a part of it.

"When we’re not going head-to-head, which isn’t very often because we compete against each other in the offseason, we compete against each other to build our team and so forth, it just puts things in a little bit of a different situation."

During his press conference with reporters on Wednesday, Harbaugh echoed Belichick's sentiments. Belichick was famously one of Harbaugh's biggest supporters earlier in his career, calling the Ravens on Harbaugh's behalf when the franchise was looking for a new head coach. And if only they weren't so frequently competing against each other, they might be even closer, Harbaugh indicated. 

"I feel like we have a good relationship," Harbaugh said. "Like you said, we're probably not socializing that much, but I don't know how many coaches really do. We're all so busy. I'll see him or any coach at the Combine or at the owner's meetings, and we have a chance to talk. It's always good. I have a ton of respect for him. I really like him as a person. I think he's a great coach -- greatest coach of this generation. He's earned that title.

"And I study him. I've always studied him. I've always studied coach Belichick from when I first met him when I was an assistant at the University of Cincinnati, and he came in and just was great to be around.  [We have a] similar background with the special teams and that sort of thing. All of that kind of goes out the window when you compete against one another. It's like anything else, you want to win. I'm sure he feels the same way."

The recent history between their respective franchises is rife with emotion: There was Baltimore's irate reaction to Belichick's unusual formations in the AFC Divisional Round two seasons ago; there was the Ravens' supposed involvement in sparking Deflategate; and there was Harbaugh's subsequent denial. But Belichick and Harbaugh made it sound on Wednesday as if all's good between them.