Albert Haynesworth, who was recently released by the New England Patriots, said in an interview that he wished that he played more, practiced more, implying that he could have and that any physical limitation he had were assumed by Bill Belichick and the coaching staff. So who was right? Could Haynesworth play more and have made a bigger impact? Or he is just late in seeing what Belichick already knew?
Well he was right at least about one thing and that’s his time was limited because of all the personnel that the Patriots have at his position. You have Kyle Love, Ron Brace, Gerard Warren, and Brandon Deaderick who all rotate in and play during games and Haynesworth was once part of that rotation. So why the rotation? Not making use of Haynesworth talent? Well you see that’s just it, Belichick did make the most of Albert I believe. The team had to have and will continue to have a rotation at that position and other weaker positions just because, as said, they are weaker. The only difference being that usually it’s 1-2 areas and the rest has a solid, consistent starter covering that area. The Patriots lack that at more than 2 positions so they will continue to rotate talent in and out since the players that fill that position are average to above average talent who have already reached their ceiling. Bottomline is that Haynesworth was wrong, he was just saying what he was supposed to say to the media and selling himself, which is smart for someone who probably doesn’t have it anymore.
As I said, they will always have a revolving door at weaker positions until they can find someone who can stand in and be a solid contributor and be an actual player with a high ceiling. Players like Love, Brace, Warren, Deaderick, and even others in different positions like Rob Ninkovich, Kyle Arrington, James Ihedigbo, and Sergio Brown have already hit whatever ceiling they had in terms of potential and will be needed if they do not have someone who is a real starter. Belichick has missed in the draft a lot and now has to make the best out of his current situation and he has. Haynesworth had some physical limitations and the Patriots got the most out of him.
Did Albert Haynesworth indeed need more playing time to be effective? No. They couldn’t play him more with his injuries and his size. Did Albert want to play more? Maybe, however I don’t think it would have helped or made him better, if anything it would have led to him getting an injury. Honestly what else did you think he’d say in the interview? “No they played me enough and my 3 tackles states what I have left in the tank?” That’s not being a good salesman and he’d be dumb to paint himself that way, so he painted the picture that he did. He tried to take advantage of the Patriots situation with the lack of potential stars, or at least solid starters, that they have and that’s what he does, he did it when he arrived here and will again next season. I believe Haynesworth could be a force in the NFL and a name that would not be forgotten if he just turned up the energy and tried his hardest on every play but he is what he is until proven otherwise. At this point in his career I think I have a better chance of seeing Patriots finish a season 0-16 with Brady at QB than Haynesworth becoming the player he could have been.
- Tampa Bay Will Take In Albert Haynesworth [Albert Haynesworth] (deadspin.com)
- Patriots Waive Albert Haynesworth (nytimes.com)
- Belichick on Haynesworth: ‘Didn’t work out’ (espn.go.com)