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November 10, 2011 @ 2:47 pm
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Haynesworth: "This Is Where I Should Have Been Three Years Ago"

Written by Eric
Eric Horchy


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After shunning the Buccaneers to go to Washington in 2009 during free agency, Albert Haynesworth is glad to be a Tampa Bay Buccaneer now. With the one-gap style of defense Tampa Bay plays, along with getting back to playing a three-technique, Haynesworth feels he will rebound from the previous two and a half seasons.

Signed to the Buccaneers’ roster less than 24 hours ago, defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth was available for comment with the media for the first time Thursday afternoon.

Haynesworth fielded about seven minutes worth of questions in front of his new locker following his initial practice with the team he nearly signed with nearly three years ago before accepting a lucrative seven-year, $100-million deal with Washington.

“I'm excited, you know,” Haynesworth said of being with the Bucs. “This is where I should have been like three years ago. But I think all good things come to somebody that waits.”

Following a tumultuous two seasons with the Redskins, Haynesworth spent a forgettable half-season in New England that saw him play in six games and record just three total tackles.

Haynesworth spoke candidly throughout Thursday’s brief media session and said he felt like wasn’t getting enough playing time with the Patriots to grow into the defense and become effective.

“I felt like I could still play. I just wanted to prove myself,” he said. “[New England], it was a great place. Coach [Bill] Belichick is a great guy and it’s a great system, but I just wanted to play more. I wanted to practice more, get more reps and the more plays I got the better I would get. I just wasn’t getting a lot of reps, so they made the decision and let me go.

“Some of it might have been health issues; some of it was that we had a lot of defensive linemen. We would switch different things depending on the team we played. Some teams that we had to play, the scheme we were running that week didn’t really fit me that well.”

Coming to Tampa, Haynesworth will be asked to help fill the void left by Gerald McCoy at the three technique within the Bucs’ 4-3 base defense. New England also lines up in a base 4-3 set, but Washington switched over to a 3-4 base when head coach Mike Shanahan took over control of the team in 2010. Bucs general manager Mark Dominik said yesterday that he feels Haynesworth will have a better chance to succeed in Tampa Bay with a scaled down responsibility of being a one-gap defensive tackle.

“He’s been more of a 3-4 defensive end two-gapping,” Dominik said. “He and we have always felt he was more of a one-gap penetrator. And the timing is what it was. It made sense to us and to me to put the claim in for a guy I think can help us the second half of the stretch.”

Haynesworth said he’s looking forward to playing that role in Tampa Bay, but added that he still needs to work on transitioning back into that responsibility.

“It feels great, it feels unbelievable. Just to get off the ball and wreak havoc, that’s awesome. I haven’t done it in three years and I have to get back to it, but today with the practice we’ve had I’m off to a good start.”

Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris spoke to the media Thursday about the signing of Haynesworth and what he is expecting the 10-year veteran to bring to Tampa Bay.

"We were a pretty good defense when we had Gerald McCoy in there,” Morris said. “We were pretty good, and pretty active. We had a significant drop off when we tried to fill people in that void.

“But Frank (Okam) and Gerald went down at the same time. Hopefully we can get some of the same stuff we got from Gerald, disruption to help us become a better football team as well as a defense.

He (Haynesworth) has his chances too. He’s on a couple strikes himself. Coming here is a breath of fresh air for him and his family. It’ll be very important for him to come out here and have success with his teammates, his coaches. We just have to try to provide an atmosphere that he can succeed in.”

An issue following Haynesworth over the past few years, especially since the blowup in Washington, is his weight and conditioning. The Bucs have the 30-year-old tackle listed at 6-foot-6, 350-pounds on their official roster. Haynesworth said he feels he has been in good shape all year and is ready to get back to becoming the type of player that was selected to the NFL’s All-Pro team in 2007 and 2008.

“It’s good. It’s what I wanted. I felt like I was in pretty good shape [in New England] but I just needed to get more plays. If I came out of the game to get a breather, maybe a few plays later I’d hope to get back in but there we didn’t do that.

“I think I can be pretty effective. I’m an older guy and I think they brought me in here to play hard and also to teach some of the younger guys how to play. I’ll be somewhat of, I guess, a mentor … get off the ball and disrupt and show them really how good it is that the grass ain’t greener on the other side always. I think this is a young, fast, talented team. I think we’ve got a lot of potential here, but like everybody knows, potential is nothing. We’ve just got to capitalize on it.”

Perhaps Haynesworth’s most open and honest comments came when asked about his decision not to come to Tampa Bay to begin with in 2009.

“You want to know the truth on that one? It was too pretty; it was too much water, too much sun here. I had just bought a nice, big boat, a good fast boat, and I really thought like if I came here I’d mix my time in with football and boating. When I was at Tennessee, during the offseason then I’d do the boating and do all my toys and playing around and all that. I figured with the water and the sun being here all year round, I was a little afraid of myself on a Tuesday going for a boat right or something like that. I should have trusted myself and known, but I was kind of scared of that.”

Last modified on Thursday, 10 November 2011 15:04

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  • avatar

    That is a bunch of bullish because he said back then something wrong about the organization was reason why he didn't come here. P.R. you should check your archives and tell uss what he said back then.
  • avatar

    Albert's contract is now manageable, but I am not sure he can play. I hope he doesn't become a cancer in the lockerroom, and I hope the Bucs cut him as soon as he shows signs of being a problem.
  • avatar

    Farber: It's COACHING not "couching." Couching is what I do with my TV flipper in hand watching the same old drivel. Hey, now that I think of it, maybe Rah IS couching. This whole Haynesworth saga has been comical for the past two and a half years. First fellow Buc fans on this board, including the now MIA BF47, declared the Glazers cheap for not signing "Big Al the Banker's Pal". Then he goes to the Redskins and becomes the poster boy for those of us who don't believe in free agency as a sure fire way to build a team. He then joins Keyshawn's cousin Chad in what some thought were two brilliant moves by the Hooded Wonder. But both of those "moves" swirled down the toilet. So here we are full circle. Only this time our dream car of only a few seasons ago is now in the back of the lot with a sign that reads only, "RUNS". So Dominik asks himself, " Is this former prize of free agency better than John McCargo for the same down payment?" If Rah and the defensive line coaches can get him in gear for a few plays a game the answer is "yes." If not, we can park him on the side of the road with a "FREE, YOU TAKE" sign and nothing is lost.
  • avatar

    We want to build through the draft... Pass up on older vets during free agencies, running backs drop like flies, still no pick up. GM goes down and they find a once 100 million dollar DT that couldn't pass a conditioning test because he was (IMO) to self involved to get and stay in shape to even try to earn his contract, because his coach was not letting him choose his role on the team. This is a head scratcher. I hope he can help, but from language used for Domenic and Morris it seem they aren't even sold on this. They basically told him your gone if your worthless, we only picked you up because our starter is hurt. What incentive can they give him to out heart out on the field, move his 350+ lbs trunk in the Tampa sun. I'm only cheering for him because he's now part of buc nation, but I'm disappointed in the character he continues to show.
  • avatar

    It's very simple? You play hard and things will go good for you. At this point in the season I just want us to be competitive from the start of the game until the end. That's all that can be asked at this point. Go Bucs! Get Better!
  • avatar

    maybe if the nexr guy up includes the headcouch we might see some improvement i couching (YES?NO)
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  • avatar

    Please do away with the all caps. You don't need to holler!
  • avatar

    I guess Haynesworth is worth the gamble. However look at the Bucs record for picking losers. First round mistakes, McCoy is one can't stay on the field because of recurrent injuries. Freeman another 1st rounder who is supposed to be the franchise but can't read a book never mind defenses and has the accuracy of a shot-gun. It will be some time before we have a winner.
  • avatar

    man am i glad your not coaching or are in charge of any type of team because that team would be abysmal.
  • avatar

    i fully support fat albert.. I promise 4 sacks and 16 tackles ... 7 for loss.. and thats being reaasonable.. the man just got everything he wants... ply 3 tech.. and go boating.. the man living... but with that 40 mill i hope he bought a cigarette or a fountain..
  • avatar

    Seriously???? He thought if he'd come here 1st time around, his boating would interfere with his football?.....what kind of lame reason is that! Oh yeah, but its ok to just be pure lazy during football practices & games when you're suppose to be workin hard.
  • avatar

    We'll see if it's the case with Hayensworth, but sometimes it really is just a matter of a player being in a system and environment that doesn't agree with him. As much of a turd D. Ward turned out to be, it can't be ignored that he had success in NY, came here and stunk it up, then went to Houston and had success. If Hayensworth is in the right system now the story can go the same way: had success in Tennessee, stunk it up in Washington, then finishes his career in Tampa with success.
  • avatar

    You mixed the expression up Albert. Good things come to those who WORK HARD, not wait.
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