By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
FOXBORO - Bill Belichick held his first press conference of 2011 and steered clear of discussing the 330-pound bombshell that dropped earlier today, the Albert Haynesworth deal. "Talked to Mike Shanahan last night and we're in the process of, acquiring process of Haynesworth, but that's not complete yet so I can't really comment on that until it's completed. If it does get completed," Belichick said with scrambled syntax. "We'll see how that goes."Asked if there was a contract holdup, Belichick said, "We'll talk about it when it's done."Asked to describe Haynesworthgenerally, Belichick said, "We'll talk about him when it's finished. If it's finished. Not there yet."What kind of pass rush needdo the Patriots have was the next probe sent forth. "Defensively the two things you want to do is pressure the quarterback andcover the receivers in the passing game," Belichick offered. "That's what pass defense is. Those two things working together, the timing of it, the coordination of it andthe execution of it, that's what the passing game is all about. You can never have too much pass rush, you can never have too much pass coverage."Given Haynesworth's checkered past which includes road rage, an on-field stomping, a sexual assault accusation, an accident while driving 100 mph in his Ferrari and outright quitting on the Washington Redskins because he didn't like the way he was deployed, it's important the Patriots know what the hell they're getting into.
Asked about the process for getting to know a player with a troubled past, Belichick said, "Any time you acquire a player, no matter how you do it, you always want to be comfortable bringing that player onto your team. Whether you draft him, sign him, trade for him, however you do it, that's what you want to try to do."Is this Patriots team strong enough to absorb aplayer like Haynesworth? Belichick was asked about the team's leadership - shaky in 2009 but improved in 2010. "I have no idea," he insisted. "We haven't even set foot on the field. It's a new year, new team, totally blank slate. I have no idea what we have right now. We haven't even gotten in a huddle yet."
By Tom E. Curran