Usually bland locker-room responses aren’t worth our time or yours, and if we relay one it’s our way of admitting to a rare in-season slow news day. There is no normal with Patriots defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth though, and no standard, bland, boring answer. Even when he attempts to mail it in we get a moment of comedy and uncomfortable irony.
You see, Albert doesn’t enjoy slacking. Not now, not ever, or at least that’s what he told the Boston media today.
Haynesworth isn’t satisfied unless he’s making every single play on the football field, which possibly includes kicking field goals, throwing touchdowns, and returning punts. For now he stuck to defense while assessing his play so far and how he’d like to improve.
“I wouldn’t say I’m satisfied. If I’m not making every tackle, every sack, every pass defensed, I’m not satisfied. I’m OK with it, but I want to definitely increase and get a lot better and want them to see what I can do.”
Bland, right? Nothing to see here.
But there’s more. There’s always more…
“I want to be the best at what I do at all times. I never want to slack.”
Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald made journalistic history by putting Haynesworth’s name in the same story and headline as the word “perfectionist.”
Haynesworth has repeatedly made similar comments in New England about being a changed man, and generally abandoning his proud role as the league’s leading man-child. But he’s appeared in only two games due to a back injury, and he has just two tackles while playing for about 25 snaps per game.
Haynesworth’s behavior may be suitable to maintain his spot in Bill Belichick’s marching patriot line, but his play and overall health and conditioning have done little to shed a rich legacy of slacking established in Washington. This is a player who enjoys a nice quiet Monday night nap, infamously failed multiple conditioning tests, and hasn’t had a healthy or productive year since 2008. Fans expected–or at least should have expected–a slow, aging, out of shape and injury-prone lineman with a high upside and little risk when the Patriots restructured Haynesworth’s contract so that he’s guaranteed exactly zero dollars in New England.
So far those expectations have been met.