By Phil Perry
Matt Light checked into WEEI on Friday to chat with our Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran and Steve DeOssie. Light hit on all things Pats, including Albert Haynesworth's potential for dominance.
Count Light among those who believe that, when motivated, Haynesworth can be a game-changing force on the defensive line.
"We knew he was a big man," said Light. "Very powerful up front. Look, when he has his motor rolling and he's ready to go, he's a guy that not many can stop."
There's always that little qualifier with Haynesworth, isn't there? Any explanation of the veteran defensive tackle's skill set is usually preceded by something like "when he has his motor rolling," or "when he wants to."
Light, who recalled his offensive linemates having a heck of a time trying to block Haynesworth when the defensive tackle was in Tennessee, came just short of calling his new 6-foot-6 335-pound teammate unstoppable . . . when he's motivated.
"When he does what he does," said Light, "I'm not sure you can compare that to anything. And I'm not 100 percent sure there's anybody out there who can stop it. You just try to weather the storm. You're not trying to avoid him as an offensive lineman. You can't."
High praise from Light, who at 6-4, 305 pounds, is a pretty powerful man in his own right.
With the Patriots first game just a week away, only time will tell whether or not talk of Haynesworth's potential will finally be drowned out by accounts of the real live football plays he makes on the field.
Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett are starting to make a habit of this.
After clinching the AFC East title during the regular season, they made sure to grab a picture together that they could throw on their respective social-media pages. They did the same again on Sunday night.
Sporting their brand new AFC Championship hats -- and Brissett, who didn't dress for the game, in a championship t-shirt -- the trio posed in front of their lockers like the three best friends that anyone could have.
When Brady posted the shot on his Instagram page Monday morning, he captioned it with a speech from the movie "The Hangover," calling Garoppolo and Brissett part of his "wolf pack."
After LeGarrette Blount plunged into the end zone from one yard away, giving the Patriots a 27-9 lead over the Steelers in the third quarter of the AFC title game, the Gillette Stadium crowd partied like it was 1989.
While fans celebrated, the massive in-stadium video board showed Rob Gronkowski, Donnie Wahlberg and Jon Bon Jovi all sharing a booth while Bon Jovi's hit from 30 years ago, "Livin' on a Prayer," blasted over the public-address system. The crowd belted out the words while the man who made them famous orchestrated from his perch.
Of course it caught Bill Belichick's attention.
"I was definitely aware of it," said Belichick, who calls Bon Jovi a friend. "Jon, I've heard him play that song dozens of times. But he had the place rocking . . . Maybe a little more than we did. Pretty impressive."
Belichick and Bon Jovi met while Belichick was coaching with the Giants, where he spent 12 years as an assistant. Bon Jovi's style of music wasn't exactly Giants head coach Bill Parcells' cup of tea, but for some of the younger coaches on the Giants staff, one of the perks of the job was that there was a rock star from Jersey to wanted to hang around the team.
Thus, a friendship was born. Once last night's game ended with Belichick making his record seventh Super Bowl as a head coach, Bon Jovi came down from his box to celebrate with his pal on the field.
"He's a great friend," Belichick said. "He's been a great friend for a long time, all the way back into the 80s and we shared a lot of great moments together, including the 1990 Super Bowl in Tampa, when he was in the locker room after the game, taking crazy pictures and stuff like that. Great memories from there. It was great to have Jon here. Always appreciate his great support. It was quite a moment. One you usually don't see at a professional football game so it was special."