Haynesworth: 'I just wanted to play more'

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Haynesworth: 'I just wanted to play more'

Albert Haynesworth met with the Tampa Bay media for the first time on Thursday, and while he praised Bill Belichick and the Patriots "system," he indicated that he didn't think he was used properly in New England.

Coach Bill Belichick is a great guy and its a great system, but I just wanted to play more, said Haynesworth, who was picked up off of waivers by the Bucs on Wednesday. I wanted to practice more, get more reps and the more plays I got the better I would get. I just wasnt getting a lot of reps, so they made the decision and let me go.

Haynesworth doesn't exactly have a reputation for playing hard all the time, which makes his plea for more playing time somewhat unbelievable. In fact, he hasn't even always trusted himself to be fully dedicated to football. On Thursday, he said he should've signed with Tampa in 2009, but he thought the mix of good weather and fast boats would have been unhealthy for his career. He signed with Washington instead and managed to cripple his reputation even without the beaches and the boats.

He did have contract incentives to play as much as possible in New England, though, and his attitude seemed to have changed for the better with the Patriots as compared to how he acted while with the Redskins. Regardless, the Bucs know they picked up a player with plenty of baggage.

Tampa Bay GM Mark Dominik was asked by Albert Breer of NFL.com if Haynesworth had a short leash with his new team.

Sure it is, Dominik said. He does have history, of course. But at the end of the day, you talk to anyone in the NFL, week to week, and you know you can be the hero one week, and be the villain the next. Its tough for any player under that scrutiny. But thats the nature of our business. Hes gonna have a shorter leash, but if hes prepared and ready to play, hell play.

In fact, Dominik liked what he saw from Haynesworth in the six games he played for New England.

I saw disruption, Dominik said. I saw strength, a finisher, a guy with the ability to put a lot of pressure on an offense. Hes still able to be a penetrating force. He can hit it and go. I didnt see as much dogging it, but I did see the last play, where he played a 1-gap technique, and I can see why it got them frustrated. He opened up the run lane, and Brandon Jacobs walked in the end zone. That said, I didnt see a guy that didnt care. He battled and competed. I think hes worthy of an opportunity.

Haynesworth was asked about that play in the third quarter of last week's Patriots loss to the Giants. He was tossed aside like a 350-pound rag doll by the Giants guard David Diehl, but Haynesworth insists he hadn't given up on the play.

To me, any time youre on the football field youve got another guy trying to knock your head off. Youre not going to play? Thats just not me, Haynesworth said. Thats why I always play hard because Im my kids role model and I just want to fight and to show them to always keep fighting no matter what it is.

Alarm-puller: ‘I’m drunk. I’m stupid. I’m a Pats fan’

Alarm-puller: ‘I’m drunk. I’m stupid. I’m a Pats fan’

Intentionally or otherwise, the guy who allegedly pulled the fire alarm at the Steelers’ hotel Sunday morning may have also provided the average Bud Light-loving Bostonian a new motto. 

“I’m drunk. I’m stupid. I’m a Pats fan,” Dennis Harrison told police after he was arrested, according to the Boston Globe.  

Citing the State Police report, the Globe wrote Monday that Harrison was talked into pulling the alarm while at a party in Revere, with a friend driving the 25-year-old to the Boston Hilton Logan Airport hotel Sunday morning. 

Harrison reportedly walked up to the second floor and pulled the fire alarm before returning to the car, but his friend and the keys were gone. He was then picked up by police while walking away from the hotel. 

According to the Globe, Harrison pleaded not guilty to charges of disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace and setting off a false fire alarm Monday and was released on personal recognizance.
 

Belichick missed Bennett dancing with cheerleaders: 'We'll have to get a replay'

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Belichick missed Bennett dancing with cheerleaders: 'We'll have to get a replay'

Martellus Bennett wanted to party. The nine-year veteran had just stamped his first trip to the Super Bowl, and he was going to celebrate by doing things that would be quintessential "Football Marty." 

He grabbed some pom-poms and danced with Patriots cheerleaders.

He planned to Facetime his brother Michael, Pro Bowl defensive lineman for the Seahawks, and talk trash. "Now I’m going to the Super Bowl, mother[expletive]. Meet me in Houston."

He talked about how he'd do some baking. "Making myself a cake, and I am going to write, 'You're awesome' on the cake, and sit there, and I'll probably eat the whole thing and regret it tomorrow because I have to make sure I make weight."

It wasn't a typical reaction to making it to the final game of the season, not for a locker room half-full with players who have been there before. But it was genuine. And even Patriots coach Bill Belichick, often thought of as the no-fun police captain headquartered at Gillette Stadium, those kinds of emotions were worth appreciating.

"Yeah, I missed all of the dancing with the cheerleaders. Sorry. We’ll have to get a replay on that," Belichick said on a conference call Monday. "But you know, I’d say just in general . . . obviously it was a great win for our team and our organization last night, but it’s great to see the players who have worked so hard take so much satisfaction in their relationship with their teammates and the goal that they accomplished last night.

"Another step in a season where the team has already won 16 games but it was another significant step. When you see them reacting and congratulating each other and celebrating like that, you know you have a closeness on the team that is special. I mentioned that last night and it’s true. These guys, they work hard.

"They put up with a lot from me and they put up with a lot of significant demands and requirements here, but it’s done with the intent to try and produce a good product and a good team. They buy into it. They perform well in critical situations like last night. I take a lot of satisfaction in seeing them achieve that because they’ve worked so hard for it and I think they deserve it, but you’ve got to go out and prove it."

In order to emphasize the point that the Patriots had proved it, that they were more than a group of hard-workers, Belichick referenced a book by Jerry Izenberg that tracked the Giants for a week in 1989 -- when Belichick was defensive coordinator -- titled "No Medals for Trying." 

"This time of year everybody tries hard," Belichick said. "Everybody has a good team that is still playing. You’re only rewarded for achievement. Last night we were fortunate enough to earn that. It’s a great feeling to see everybody have that kind of interaction with each other and feel so good about their teammates and the guys they’ve worked so hard with."