Haynesworth looks for bigger contribution

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Haynesworth looks for bigger contribution

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
FOXBORO - In his first regular-season game with the Patriots, Albert Haynesworth played more downs than he had in any game since last Halloween. According to Ryan O'Halloran of CSNWashington, Haynesworth was in for 37 snaps against the Lions last October 31. He played 32 of 76 plays for the Patriots on Monday night. Haynesworth played in just eight games for the 'Skins last year because of differences with his boss. According to O'Halloran, he played 17 of 75 (Dallas), 25 of 79 (St. Louis), 33 of 74 (Eagles), 33 of 63 (Bears), 37 of 76 (Lions), 25 of 62 (Eagles), 14 of 54 (Titans), 20 of 64 (Vikings).On Wednesday, Haynesworth said he felt fresh as an oversized daisy thanks to the defensive line rotation. "It helped a lot," he acknowledged. "I don't think the heat and humidity bothered any of us at all. It didn't bother me. But the rotation was great."Haynesworth still sees significant room for improvement against San Diego. "We got to play a lot better than what we did in Miami as a defensive front," he insisted. "We got ot be a lot better, especially up front. I can only talk about what we do as (the front). Personally, I think we let 'em score too many points and get too many yards. Once we figure out that and keep playing hard and getting after the quarterback we'll be all right."Asked to specify what he needed to do better, Haynesworth explained. "Staying consistent. I gotta cut out some of my mental errors and trust in it and I'll be more effective."Haynesworth's power and ability to disrupt wereapparent. He had two tackles but also drew two holding calls. Drawing penalties is tremendously underrated. Think about it - he forced Miami back 20 yards total and had two stuffs at the defensive line. Still, he noted that it's not yet second nature for him. "When you're in a scheme for a long time, it's automatically given what you're gonna do," He noted."When you come to a new scheme it's a little bit of thinking. What I have to do is believe in it because, even though its a different word that we use, it's still the same technique and (I need) to get after it."

Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable

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Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable

FOXBORO -- The Patriots will head into Sunday's AFC title game with seven players listed as questionable, including three receivers. 

Danny Amendola, Malcolm Mitchell and Chris Hogan have all been limited in practices this week due to their injuries. Amendola has been dealing with an ankle issue since a Week 13 win over the Rams, while Mitchell has not played since injuring his knee in Week 16 against the Jets. Hogan suffered a thigh injury against the Texans and left the game in the third quarter.

Both Hogan and Mitchell indicated this week that they were moving in the right direction in terms of their recoveries. One would think that the Patriots would need at least one, if not both, to help stress the back end of the Steelers secondary this weekend.

Hogan has been the team's most consistent down-the-field threat this season, averaging a whopping 17.9 yards per catch during the regular season. Against the Texans, before his injury, he reeled in four passes for 95 yards. 

Mitchell, meanwhile, had a very productive second half of his rookie season before he was hurt. He compiled 25 catches for 306 yards between Weeks 11 and 16, establishing himself as one of Tom Brady's go-to targets. 

The overall health of the Patriots receiving corps -- which will also include Julian Edelman and Michael Floyd -- will bear watching when the Patriots and Steelers kick off in two days.

The injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Steelers game:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

QUESTIONABLE
WR Danny Amendola (ankle)
TE Martellus Bennett (knee)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
LB Dont'a Hightower (shoulder)
WR Chris Hogan (thigh)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (knee)
DL Jabaal Sheard (knee)

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

QUESTIONABLE
TE Ladarius Green (concussion/illness)
LB James Harrison (shoulder/triceps)
RB Fitzgerald Toussaint (concussion)

NOT LISTED
RB Le'Veon Bell (not injury related)
K Chris Boswell (illness)
LB Anthony Chickillo (ankle)
S Sean Davis (shoulder)
C B.J. Finney (illness)
WR Darrius Heyward-Bay (illness)
DE Ricardo Mathews (ankle)
QB Zach Mettenberger (illness)
S Michael Mitchell (not injury related)
QB Ben Roethlisberger (not injury related)
LB Vince Williams (shoulder)