By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
I think Albert Haynesworth will be a good football player in New England. I like the trade. I know he's alleged to have swiped a credit card through a waitress' cleavage, rammed fellow drivers on Tennessee highways while going over 100 mph, raged in the road and on the field, and stolen millions of dollars from Daniel Snyder. But I don't plan on going to dinner with him, riding shotgun in some absurd vehicle he's driving orhopping out of my compact car to see if he wants a piece of me. As for bilking Snyder...well, it just shows Haynesworth's deeds aren't all bad. I guess I'm in the media minority. Many of my brethren and sisterenhave been fanning themselves with their hymnals since Haynesworth got here. What about the children? What about Myra Kraft's legacy? Will it be safe to leave my house after 8 p.m.? You know, self-righteouscrap that never gets a centimeter below the surface of a situation because indignation and the moral high ground are the Jordan and Pippen of media conversation these days. Sonobody wonders if the Patriots' track record of taking raging jerks and turning them into productive employees might help wayward Albert find himself and live blissfully ever after. Nobody considers the liberal idea that this is a nice chance for him torehab his self-worth a bit. Nobody bothers to point out that it's a football team he's joined, not the state legislature. Instead, we get an onslaught of crass, cringe inducing finger-wagging about the Patriots betraying Myra Kraft's memory. It's an argument built on an example mined from a moment 15 years and two football administrationsago and it's supposed to demonstrate Mrs. Kraft's sway over personnel decisions. Sorry, only the internet has evolved more since 1996 than the Patriots. It's an inane contention that ignores recent history and the present reality that if Haynesworth is a jackass, he will be cut. The New England Patriots' organization -- the company -- has earned the right to hire employees with questionable histories and be given the benefit of the doubt that they will do the right thing if said employee commits crimes in the community or on the football field. They earned it, not because of the three Super Bowls, but because of the way in which they've conducted their business since 2000. Now that that's off my chest, I feel better. And I can move on to the point of this column, which is: Haynesworth is not at all stupid. He may act like an idiot and have some self-esteem and anger issues, but he is intelligent. Which is why the words he speaks must be heard with jaundiced ear. On Tuesday, he said the right things to the assembled media at Gillette Stadium. He made it sound like he embraces the perfection the Patriots demand and looks forward to "rewriting my name as Albert Haynesworth the Patriots."But he knows how to say the right things. When he signed the 100 million contract with 41M guaranteed with the Redskins, here's what he had to say, With the contract, it's going to be all on me, he said. What they want me to come here and do is play football and be disruptive, do what I do, so thats what I've come here to do. When you get on the field, you're not thinking about dollar signs or anything like that, you're just going out there to play. It's a lot of money, but honestly, I put more pressure on myself than what the contract will do.I have such high standards for myself that, you know, Snyder can pay me half a billion dollars, and it still would have been the pressure I put on myself. I expect myself to play at a high level and to dominate. And if Im not making plays, then people around me are making plays. As far as the number, I mean, yeah, it's great. Its awesome, dont get me wrong, but as far as the pressure, no. He disgraced himself. So thoroughly that in just two seasons, a chronicle of the Worst of Haynesworth was easy from Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post to cobble together. Haynesworth can talk it. He hasn't shown if he can walk it. That he's being given the chance to take his steps back to redemption in New England? Don't bother me none.
Tom E. Curran can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran
By Tom E. Curran