FOXBORO — He’s been around less than two months, but Albert Haynesworth certainly sounds like someone who’s been around here much longer. In the wake of the 38-24 win over the Dolphins Monday night in Miami, the defensive tackle acknowledged that there were some good things that took place. But at the same time, he said there was plenty of work still to be done.
“We have to be a lot better, especially up front,” Haynesworth said before practice on Wednesday. “I can only talk about what we do as us, personally. I think we let hem score too many points and get too many yards. Once we figure out that and keep playing hard and getting after the quarterback, we’ll be all right.”
Reminded that the Patriots — who were one of the worst teams in the history of the NFL last season when it came to third-down defense — held Miami to 2-for-14 on third down on Monday, Haynesworth pointed out that New England actually had some issues on fourth down.
“Yeah, that was great, 2-for-14. But I think we were 4-for-5 on fourth down, so again, you have to get off the field,” he said. “You have to stop them. We just have to play better as a front, as a defense. If we want to be that top ranked defense, then we have to play like it.”
Haynesworth, who was on the field for 30 of the 77 defensive snaps Monday night in his Patriots’ debut, finished with two tackles (he also drew two holding penalties, as Miami guard Richie Incognito was flagged twice for holding when he was going against Haynesworth). He said he felt good in the wake of the contest, but still believes he has a long way to go, adding that some of the errors he’s encountered were the result of getting used to a new scheme.
“I just have to cut out some of the mental errors. I still have to feel comfortable with what I’m doing and trust in it, and then, I’ll be more effective,” Haynesworth said.
“When you’re in a scheme for a long time, it’s like automatically a given on what you’re going to do. And then, when you come to a new scheme, there’s a little bit of thinking. What I have to do is believe in it, even though it’s a different word that we use, it’s still the same technique and still believe and get after it.”
Haynesworth also discussed the challenge of going up against this week’s opponent, the San Diego Chargers.
“I have a history with San Diego — I played them for a while, and I know they’re a very good team. They have a great quarterback. They have a great offensive line. It’s going to be a tough challenge. We’re going to have to play a lot better than we did at Miami as a defensive front,” Haynesworth said.
“(Philip Rivers) is a great quarterback. He’s proven. He’s been playing extremely well. He had over 4,500 yards last year passing last year. He’s definitely one of the top guys in the NFL,” he added. “He’s a great quarterback. He’s going to get rid of the ball. He won’t take a ton of sacks. You’ve got to get pressure.”