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The recent news of the Patriots trading for Redskins DT Albert Haynesworth was first greeted by surprise, and then cynicism. After all, this was the guy who spent two years in Washington failing conditioning tests, demanding more money (getting it), deciding he didn’t really want to play, and all-around making Mike Shanahan’s life miserable.
It was widely assumed that the Haynesworth, who recorded 8.5 sacks in his final season with the Titans, was long gone, and that the Patriots were more likely to see the player who made only 6.5 sacks in his last two seasons while starting only 12 games.
The next day, the public learned that Bengals WR Chad Ochocinco was being shipped to New England. Fans responded to this news with much more optimism, as the artist formerly known as Chad Johnson has a good deal left in the tank.
This move also gave the Patriots someone to take the top off of opposing defenses. Hopefully any scheduling conflicts with Sporting Kansas City have already been addressed by Bill Belichick.
Personally, I am extremely optimistic that Chad Ochocinco can be an effective deep threat, even at the age of 33. I predict that he will reach double digits in TDs for only the second time in his career and the first since 2003. He has even said that he will be speaking to the media a lot less, much to the chagrin of the media, but much to the benefit of the Patriots’ passing attack. He’s basically all upside.
On the other hand, there is far less reason to be hopeful about Haynesworth. No player in the NFL can just magically turn on the motor and start performing after two years of not trying. Well, no player except Randy Moss. Also, we have seen Coach Hoodie give defensive players less wiggle room than he gives offensive players when it comes to the “Patriot Way.”
For example, Wes Welker was benched for one drive in the playoff matchup between New England and New York after making fun of Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan for a good portion of a press conference. Conversely, after Adalius Thomas came late to a meeting late in 2009, he was cut in the offseason. This is probably because Belichick is a defensive minded coach; this fact bodes poorly for Haynesworth’s chances of staying on management’s good side.
How do you think Chad and Albert’s stays in New England will work out? Post your opinion in the comments section below.