Thursday, July 28, 2011

If Albert Haynesworth Can Pass His Physical, Career Revival Ahead With New England Patriots

Nothing that New England Patriots coach, Bill Belichick, does anymore surprises me, but this trade for Albert Haynesworth makes sense in a lot of ways.

Last year, the New England defense allowed 366 yards per game, which put them last in their own division.  They were also last in the league in 2010 in preventing 3rd-down conversions.

For a coach that prides himself on his defensive acumen, this had to sting Bill Belichick.  So in an effort to make a dramatic improvement on his defensive line, the Patriots just traded for Albert Hayneworth from the Washington Redskins.

Paired up with Vince Wilfork, who is one of the Patriots best leaders and players, Haynesworth could see a revival of his career that saw him as one of the most dominating defensive lineman in the NFL a few years ago.

The defense is what held the Patriots back last year, even as their offense continued to find ways to score on the field.  In those Super Bowl years, the Patriots always had a stifling, efficient defense, and if they can return that side of the ball to a level close to where they were back then, they will once again be a favorite to reach the Super Bowl.

If Haynesworth does enact a turnaround in 2011 with the Patriots, much could be attributed to having a strong, player-oriented coach in Belichick, much in the way he thrived under Jeff Fisher in Tennessee.  His feud with Washington coach, Mike Shanahan, last year, was highly publicized and a constant source of headline sports news.

Had Shanahan managed the situation differently (we will see how Belichick handles it), Haynesworth might have thrived.  We will see in the coming days if Haynesworth learned from his time in Washington, and whether he feels rejuvenated about moving to New England.

Now, if only he can pass the physical...

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