By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran FOXBORO - Albert and Ocho. What's the worst that could happen? Well, for starters, say Ocho and the quarterback pile onto Albert's boat. And the head coach too. Of course he'll be there because he and Ocho are boys. Albert opens it up a little bit and the next thing you know they're going 145 when they T-bone Codzilla in Boston Harbor. While Ocho's water skiing. And Belichick's fishing. And Brady's sunning himself on the quarterdeck. And it doesn't work out so good for any of them. But aside from that? Not much, right? Here are some quick hits from a bizarre day to start the 2011 Patriots season.
1. INSIDE KNOWLEDGEWhen the Patriots decided to pull the trigger on Haynesworth, two things had to happen. The price had to be right - a fifth-round pick and a renegotiated deal with no guaranteed money was right. And there had to be people willing to vouch for him. One of them, no doubt, was Floyd Reese. The Patriots' Senior Football Adviser drafted Haynesworth out of Tennessee and was with Haynesworth for the entirety of the player's career in Tennessee. The other was likely Jim Schwartz, head coach of the Lions and Haynesworth's defensive coordinator with the Titans. Belichick is not shy about gathering and sharing information with people in the coaching fraternity, especially if they are far removed from New England. And with Schwartz as head coach of the Lions, there was sufficient buffer. A call to Schwartz hasn't yet been returned, but here's what he had to say about Haynesworth last year after one of the DTs rare productive games for the Redskins. "It's him playing in a 4-3. It's him being disruptive, attacking blockers, knocking them back, affecting the run and the pass," Schwartz said after watching tape of Haynesworth ruining the Bears offense last October. "I mean, he was hard to handle one-on-one. Those are the things I remember about Albert. He affected that game."When he gets moving, he's very difficult to block. He is a guy that's a very good athlete, he's a very smart football player, and he's tremendously big. And you combine all three of those, and it's very difficult to block him. That's one of the reasons, like I said, that he had so much success. That's one of the reasons he had so much success last week. And again, it's one of the reasons he was in such demand as a draft pick and also a free agent."2. See What Condition His Condition Is InGiven Haynesworth's disinterest in playing for Mike Shanahan in Washington last season, it's hard to imagine he's been working out like a fiend to get ready for 2011. That will be one of the biggest issues he'll face when joining the Patriots. You figure he won't be on the field until he passes his conditioning test, although if he does fail it, he may be out there for mental reps. As big as Vince Wilfork is, he is in tremendous cardiovascular shape and rarely misses practice. That hasn't been Haynesworth's modus operandi. We'll see if it changes. 3. Ocho's Barstool ExclusiveNews is news and one of the most revealing insights into the fact that Ochocinco gets the difference between his "brand" and being a football player was given to Dave Portnoy (aka El Presidente) at Barstool Sports. In Miami recently, Portnoy talked to Ochocinco at a Skyy Vodka party. The mostrelevant part was Ocho talking about assimilating into the system in New England. (It's kind of stream-of-consciousness, but what the hell . . . you get what he's saying). "A lot of people say my style of play would be weird in that system but the thing they dont realize is that I dont have to be Chad Johnson," he told Portnoy. "I dont have to be Ochocino in the media, because Im finally getting what Ive wanted. Winning. Winning."Listen, I create this party, I create this guy that loves football thats like a little kid out there. I know I get to camp July 26, when January gets here Im done. So Im trying to cram as much(flipping) fun as possible into the games as I can. Listen, Im just saying, yo, I wouldnt have to do that (stuff). I wouldnt have to celebrate. Celebrate for what? Ill score 30(flipping) times! They wouldnt have a(flipping) chance! You know? You understand what Im saying?Belichick knows me, see, this is what I love about the New England Patriots. Im close to that man on a personal level, they already know that behind the fun, behind the celebrations, they know how hard I work. Theyre the ones . . . theyre the ones ESPN wanna say, Oh he cant play no more. Ask the players there next time you see em. Ask Belichick next time you see him."We'll do that Friday. 4. Light's On?No word yet on whether the Patriots will retain Matt Light as they hope to. He hasn't been linked to any other teams and the Globe's Greg Bedard reported Thursday that the Patriots are nearing a deal. That's all for Thursday. We'll be back at it in the morning. We'll have Belichick around 9:30 and Brady after practice.
Tom E. Curran can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran.
By Tom E. Curran