Haynesworth gone, Ochocinco seems likely to stay
Albert Haynesworth, all 350 pounds of him, got shoved back 3
yards as the runner charged through the huge hole for a
Less than a minute later in Sunday’s 24-20 loss to the New York
Giants, Chad Ochocinco beat his defender on a deep route into the
end zone, but Tom Brady’s pass fell short.
Haynesworth is no longer a member of the New England
Ochocinco seems likely to stay.
The two high-profile players acquired in late July have been
major underachievers for the first half of the season.
The final blow for Haynesworth came on Brandon Jacobs’ 10-yard
touchdown run with 9:10 left in the third quarter. The defensive
tackle didn’t play again and was released Tuesday having made three
unassisted tackles and no sacks all season.
”I thought that both he and myself, speaking for the staff, we
really tried to make it work,” coach Bill Belichick said
Wednesday. ”He had a few physical limitations to overcome when he
got here, but I thought he really tried to do what we asked him to
”We tried to work with him and, in the end, it just obviously
didn’t work out. The best thing we can do is just move on.”
Ochocinco, meanwhile, is moving ahead in his career with the
Patriots. He’s becoming more familiar with Brady and a complex
offense different than the one he played in with the Cincinnati
Bengals the past 10 years.
His playing time increased on Sunday when he had a season-high
five passes thrown his way. But, for the third straight game, he
had no catches. Still, on at least two of the passes, he beat the
cornerback, but Brady’s passes arrived late.
”He’s done some good things and there are things we need to do
a better job of,” offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien said.
”Getting him the ball and things like that.”
For most of the season, the usually chatty Ochocinco hasn’t
talked on the record with reporters. Nor has he tweeted as
prolifically as he did before joining the Patriots. That’s the way
Belichick likes it.
After catching just two passes going into the fourth and final
exhibition game, Ochocinco was asked if he was frustrated.
”Frustration’s a waste of time,” he said then. ”It’s a waste
By all indications, Ochocinco is a good teammate and a hard
worker in practice. Coaches and teammates have been supportive.
”He’s being a professional,” wide receiver Matthew Slater said
Wednesday, ”He’s getting better. He’s great to have on this team.
We love having him.”
And they’ve been patient, hoping his good work in practice will
translate to the field.
”He’s continued to do a great job in practice in his role that
he’s really carved out for himself,” Brady said, ”and he’s going
to continue to be out there and, hopefully, make a bunch of
Ochocinco has just nine catches for 136 yards this season, the
same numbers teammate Wes Welker had in last Sunday’s game alone.
In last year’s season opener at New England, he tied his career
high of 12 catches, covering 159 yards in a 38-24 Cincinnati
In his 161 career games, he didn’t catch a pass in just eight,
including the past three. Against the Giants, he got free several
”You can tell (Ochocinco and Brady) are not exactly where they
want to be at this time,” Giants safety Kenny Phillips said. ”I
know Chad personally. He is a hard worker and he will pick it
His next chance comes Sunday night at the New York Jets. He
faced them in consecutive games in the regular-season finale in
2010 – the last time before this season he was held without a catch
– and then in the wild-card game, losing both with the Bengals.
”You could see they’re trying to work him into the mix and, I
guess, when he gets comfortable and the Patriots feel that he’s
comfortable, then they’ll probably throw him the ball a little bit
Brady has other more productive targets. On Sunday, 25 of his 49
passes went to Welker or Rob Gronkowski.
Asked if he’s hesitant to throw to players if he’s not sure they
can make the play, Brady said, ”the guys that you’re comfortable
with, those are the guys that are usually on the field.”
Haynesworth never made it back to the field after Jacobs’
touchdown. Left guard David Diehl got his helmet under
Haynesworth’s right arm, shoving him out of the way. That opened a
wide gap, Jacobs scored, and the Giants led 10-0.
There were no public problems involving Haynesworth, unlike last
season with the Washington Redskins when he feuded with new coach
Mike Shanahan, skipped offseason workouts because he didn’t want to
play nose tackle in the new 3-4 defensive alignment and needed 10
days to pass his conditioning test.
He lost his starting job and played in just eight games before
Shanahan suspended him for the final four because of conduct
detrimental to the club.
On July 28, he was traded to the Patriots for a fifth-round
draft pick in 2013. He played his first game with them in the
”I feel like this is going to be the last place I want to
play,” he said afterward. ”If it doesn’t work out here, then I’m
not going to play anywhere else.”
On Wednesday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers claimed him off
”Anytime you bring a player onto the team, you bring him onto
your team with the expectation that it’ll be a positive and
productive thing for your team,” Belichick said. ”Of course, that
doesn’t always happen.”
AP Sports Writer Tom Canavan in East Rutherford, N.J.,
contributed to this report.