Curran: Haynesworth singing a familiar tune

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Curran: Haynesworth singing a familiar tune

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
I think Albert Haynesworth will be a good football player in New England. I like the trade. I know he's alleged to have swiped a credit card through a waitress' cleavage, rammed fellow drivers on Tennessee highways while going over 100 mph, raged in the road and on the field, and stolen millions of dollars from Daniel Snyder. But I don't plan on going to dinner with him, riding shotgun in some absurd vehicle he's driving orhopping out of my compact car to see if he wants a piece of me. As for bilking Snyder...well, it just shows Haynesworth's deeds aren't all bad. I guess I'm in the media minority. Many of my brethren and sisterenhave been fanning themselves with their hymnals since Haynesworth got here. What about the children? What about Myra Kraft's legacy? Will it be safe to leave my house after 8 p.m.? You know, self-righteouscrap that never gets a centimeter below the surface of a situation because indignation and the moral high ground are the Jordan and Pippen of media conversation these days. Sonobody wonders if the Patriots' track record of taking raging jerks and turning them into productive employees might help wayward Albert find himself and live blissfully ever after. Nobody considers the liberal idea that this is a nice chance for him torehab his self-worth a bit. Nobody bothers to point out that it's a football team he's joined, not the state legislature. Instead, we get an onslaught of crass, cringe inducing finger-wagging about the Patriots betraying Myra Kraft's memory. It's an argument built on an example mined from a moment 15 years and two football administrationsago and it's supposed to demonstrate Mrs. Kraft's sway over personnel decisions. Sorry, only the internet has evolved more since 1996 than the Patriots. It's an inane contention that ignores recent history and the present reality that if Haynesworth is a jackass, he will be cut. The New England Patriots' organization -- the company -- has earned the right to hire employees with questionable histories and be given the benefit of the doubt that they will do the right thing if said employee commits crimes in the community or on the football field. They earned it, not because of the three Super Bowls, but because of the way in which they've conducted their business since 2000. Now that that's off my chest, I feel better. And I can move on to the point of this column, which is: Haynesworth is not at all stupid. He may act like an idiot and have some self-esteem and anger issues, but he is intelligent. Which is why the words he speaks must be heard with jaundiced ear. On Tuesday, he said the right things to the assembled media at Gillette Stadium. He made it sound like he embraces the perfection the Patriots demand and looks forward to "rewriting my name as Albert Haynesworth the Patriots."But he knows how to say the right things. When he signed the 100 million contract with 41M guaranteed with the Redskins, here's what he had to say, With the contract, it's going to be all on me, he said. What they want me to come here and do is play football and be disruptive, do what I do, so thats what I've come here to do. When you get on the field, you're not thinking about dollar signs or anything like that, you're just going out there to play. It's a lot of money, but honestly, I put more pressure on myself than what the contract will do.I have such high standards for myself that, you know, Snyder can pay me half a billion dollars, and it still would have been the pressure I put on myself. I expect myself to play at a high level and to dominate. And if Im not making plays, then people around me are making plays. As far as the number, I mean, yeah, it's great. Its awesome, dont get me wrong, but as far as the pressure, no. He disgraced himself. So thoroughly that in just two seasons, a chronicle of the Worst of Haynesworth was easy from Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post to cobble together. Haynesworth can talk it. He hasn't shown if he can walk it. That he's being given the chance to take his steps back to redemption in New England? Don't bother me none.
Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Belichick: Patriots have caught up after starting offseason 'five weeks behind'

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Belichick: Patriots have caught up after starting offseason 'five weeks behind'

FOXBORO -- After starting the offseason "five weeks behind," as Bill Belichick put it, the Patriots have caught up. 

"I think we’re probably caught up to where we are now," he said before Thursday's OTA practice at Gillette Stadium. "I think it’s being behind in draft, free agency and that type of thing.

"I think at this point, we’re ready for OTAs. We’ll be ready for training camp. I think that part of it we’ll be on schedule on. It’s the catching up on all the spring projects, draft and free agency. It’s the initial part of it."

Belichick made headlines on the morning after winning his fifth Lombardi Trophy with the Patriots when he said, "As of today, and as great as today feels and as great as today is, in all honesty we're five weeks behind in the 2017 season to most teams in the league. Fortunately we have a great personnel staff

"Look, in a couple weeks we're going to be looking at the combine, obviously the draft, all-star games have already occurred, and in a month we're into free agency, not to mention all the internal Patriots players (whose) contracts are up and we're going to have to work with in some form or fashion like every team in the league does."

Leaning on evaluations of players that began in the build-up to previous drafts, Belichick and his staff opted to trade away some of this year's draft capital for veterans like Brandin Cooks, Kony Ealy and Dwayne Allen. They also gave up their fifth-rounder to sign restricted free agent Mike Gillislee.

Before heading out to the team's third practice of the week -- the first week the Patriots were allowed to introduce helmets and run offense versus defense periods -- Belichick said that part of his focus will be spent on finding out how those players he picked up this offseason are progressing.

"Yeah, that’s definitely part of it," he said. "Seeing the new players, how they’re doing and also how they’re doing relevant to the rest of the other players that I’m a little more familiar with. Again, each year is a new year, so even though we’ve seen some of these guys multiple years, it’s still starting all over again, seeing where they are, how they’re progressing in their training and preparation for the season."