FOXBORO - Albert Haynesworth has lotsa fun hobbies. But this past Sunday he stayed off the rock crawler and the power boat and just watched football. "Actually,I caught myself watching the Steelers play, so . . . I watched a lot of football," Haynesworth said Tuesday. "So I wouldn't say I got away from football because, still, I'm drawn to it and like to watch it."The Patriots lock up with the Steelers on Sunday in Pittsburgh. Haynesworth said that, when hewatches football, he focuses on the defensive and offensive lines and a little bit on thequarterbacks. Sunday, hesaw the Steelers running game struggle -- 28 carries and 91 yards -- but Ben Roethlisberger have a terrific daystatistically (26 for 39 for 361 yards and three touchdown passes). Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown combined for 10 catches and 220 yards in the 32-20 win over Arizona. Haynesworth says he's continuing to knock the rust offand that hefeels he's come back well from the knee and back issues he was dealing with earlier in the season.Now, he says, it's time to build on the defensive performance against Dallas. "We had a good game and now we just have to continue it," he explained."The Steelers are a good team, they're kinda like they were a year ago only better. They're not no slouch or anything. They're on a three-game winning streak and they're definitely going to be a challenge."
President-elect Donald Trump made sure to thank a few of his supporters from New England -- particularly those at 1 Patriot Place -- during a speech on the eve of his inauguration to the nation's highest office.
Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft, coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady all earned shout-outs from Trump. Kraft was one of many Trump donors present for a dinner at Washington, DC's Union Station, where he was singled out by the soon-to-be-president.
"In the audience we have somebody that's under no pressure whatsoever because he's got a great quarterback named Tom Brady and a great coach named Belichick: Bob Kraft," Trump said. "Good luck, Bob.
"Your friend Tom Brady just called. He feels good. He called to congratulate us. He feels good. Good luck. You're going to do great."
Trump gave one extra nod to Belichick, who he says taught him to out-work his competition.
"I out-worked everybody," Trump said. "I think I out-worked anyone who ever ran for office. I learned that from Belichick."
FOXBORO -- The Patriots have signed free-agent tight end Rob Housler to a future contract. The 6-foot-5, 250-pound target last played for the Bears but was released at the end of training camp.
Housler won't be eligible to participate with the Patriots during the postseason, but he will be available for the offseason program and training camp leading up to the 2017 campaign.
Housler taken in the third round by the Cardinals with the 69th overall selection in 2011. In 65 career games, he has 109 catches for 1,166 yards and one touchdown.
The Patriots may have been intrigued by Housler's skill set last summer when he caught one pass for 52 yards -- making two Patriots defenders miss in the process -- during a preseason game at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots and Bears held joint training camp practices in August that would have given Patriots coaches and scouts a closer look at everything Housler has to offer as a player.
Housler was one of the better athletes at the NFL Scouting Combine in 2011, running a 4.55-second 40-yard dash (fastest among tight ends), posting a 6.9-second three-cone drill, and recording a 37-inch vertical leap.
Bill Belichick and his staff hit big on a future-contract signing two years ago when a running back with a significant injury history was available to scoop up at the behest of then-assistant to the coaching staff Michael Lombardi. Since then, the Patriots still have never lost with Dion Lewis in uniform.