Haynesworth embraces the 'Patriot Way'

191543.jpg

Haynesworth embraces the 'Patriot Way'

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com Staff Reporter Follow @dannypicard

FOXBORO -- According to the man himself, his name is now Albert thePatriot.

Hes New Englands newest defensive lineman, and he comeswith plenty of luggage. Only, according to him, now that hes a Patriot thatluggage is all in the past.

Tuesday marked Haynesworths second day of practice with theteam at Gillette Stadium. Afterwards, he spoke with the media for the firsttime since being acquired by New England in a trade with the WashingtonRedskins late last week.

And it didnt take him long to buy into The Patriot Way.

Everything is in the past, said Haynesworth. Im leavingall that stuff back in Washington. Right now, Im just concentrating on beingjust a great football player for this organization.

Haynesworth said hes always been a fan of Bill Belichickand the entire Patriots organization. So much so, that he took a ticket fromRodney Harrison, and was present at Gillette Stadium for the 2007 AFCChampionship game against the San Diego Chargers.

He also said hes secretly made a bunch of trips to NewEngland in the past, because his best friend is a New England native. His lovefor the area and the organization has him excited for a fresh start to showthat he can still play football.

A new team, a great organization, said Haynesworth. Ivebeen a fan of this team for a long time, when I wasnt playing them. But Ivealways liked the Patriots.

Ive always liked Coach Belichick, just the way he didthings, the way his teams performed. From being outside, just the way hehandled the team and everything. And now being inside, hes very detailoriented, and he demands perfection every time.

Ive been on some really good teams, with a lot of greatplayers, but Ive never been in a situation where its like, perfection everytime, added Haynesworth. Not for a person, but for a team.

Haynesworth first found out about the trade as a textmessage from his agent woke him up. His reaction?

Hell, yeah, said Haynesworth.

Its a move he originally talked with Vince Wilfork aboutseveral years ago at the Pro Bowl, and a move that he once again talked to hisagent about before he was actually traded out of Washington. He just neverthought the numbers would match up.

I went to the Pro Bowl with Vince, said Haynesworth. Andthe funny thing is, when we were at the Pro Bowl, I said, Man, what if we wereon the same team? He said, That would be crazy, but no way thats going tohappen.

But two or three years later, here we are.

Haynesworth was adamant that he leave his luggage in thepast, or at least, in Washington.

Hes now focused on getting his legs back underneath him,and eventually thriving under his current role on New Englands defensive line,which he somewhat jokingly said, is to just kill the quarterback.

The Patriots hope he can be a dominant force on thedefensive line, especially while working next to Wilfork.

Thats gonna be scary, said Haynesworth, when asked aboutlining up next to each other. Thats gonna be scary for other teams.

Good for Haynesworth to point out that his presence on NewEnglands defensive line will be scary for other teams and not their own.Because it sure sounds like Haynesworth has something to prove.

Its going to be awesome, he said. I enjoy being here.Its a refresher and I love it. Its kind of revived me, playing footballagain.

That was Belichicks plan all along.

Danny Picard is on twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.

Van Noy sees playing-time bump as he learns Patriots language

van_noy.jpg

Van Noy sees playing-time bump as he learns Patriots language

When Kyle Van Noy was traded to the Patriots in late October, he had a lot to learn. He needed to understand the layout of his new team's maze-like facility. He needed to adjust to a new locker room. He needed to adapt to a new home. 

He also had to become fluent in a new language.

The former Lions 'backer was inactive for two weeks before he was comfortable enough with the Patriots system -- and the coaching staff was comfortable enough with him -- to get on the field. He played 29 snaps against the Niners in first game with his new club, then saw 28 plays against the Jets. On Sunday he saw his role expand as he played 40 of a possible 51 plays, which was more than Shea McClellin (38) or Dont'a Hightower (33). 

"Kyle has done a great job of working really hard to acclimate to what we’re doing, and he has had to learn really fast as far as the system, the communication, the language," said defensive coordinator Matt Patricia on a conference call Tuesday. "It’s like when you go to a different system, offensively or defensively, a lot of times it’s just learning the vernacular and the verbiage . . . That’s a big part of it. Then getting more familiar with that kind of terminology and the communication is critical because there’s a lot of calls and adjustments, things like that that we’ve got to do on the field."

Van Noy was making some of those calls himself on Sunday as he wore the green dot on his helmet when Hightower was on the sidelines. Even with the added responsibility, Van Noy was able to play freely enough that he put together what might have been the best game of his three-year career. 

Used at the end of the line of scrimmage as well as in a more traditional off-the-line linebacker role, Van Noy was effective in defending both the pass and the run: He stuffed three Rams rush attempts, he recorded a quarterback hit that led to an incompletion, he drew a holding call, and he recorded an athletic interception when he tracked a wobbling Jared Goff pass that floated over the middle after Jabaal Sheard hit Goff's arm as the rookie released his throw.

After several of his stand-out plays, Van Noy was visibly excited on the field and later on the sidelines. It was the culmination of six weeks of work, learning as much as he could from a coaching staff that was eager to teach him. 

"He’s extremely prideful in his work and his approach to the game," Patricia said. "He’s very cerebral. He’ll ask a lot of questions. He really wants to understand what we’re doing and why, which is great. We’re trying to give him those answers and insight into kind of where some of this either came from or developed or situations like that so that’s really good."