New England waived DL Albert Haynesworth earlier today, two days after the former lynchpin of the Titans defense reportedly had a hard-to-miss difference of opinion with Patriots defensive coordinator Pepper Johnson. The Boston Herald’s Ian R. Rappaport, helpfully hops in the time machine and travels back to training camp last August when Johnson’s opinion of Haynesworth was a tad higher, albeit somewhat uninformed.
(He’s) very unlike what you read about,” Johnson said of Haynesworth back in August. ”I was thinking that, what am I really going to have to deal with? I’m coaching every player that comes up in here. It really doesn’t matter to me. But, Albert, god he’s a great guy. It’s kind of hard to see some of the things that you hear negative about him . . . . some of the stuff, you need to know both sides of the story. I think Albert is a great person. He’s been trying to work his way out on the field. He’s been tremendous in the classroom to date. I expect a lot from him.”
As it turns out, Johnson never got it. Haynesworth played a limited role, if that.
Three months ago, Johnson also didn’t seem too concerned if Haynesworth turned into that person in the press clippings, and he had to deal with something less coachable.
”I’m not much with reading the newspapers, so I don’t know much about him. You hear rumors of course. Before he came in through the door, that’s when a lot of people where telling me he was some guy that was hard to deal with,” Johnson said. ”But I’m born and raised in Detroit. I don’t know if there’s too many people that would be hard for me to deal with. I’m not a person that sits up and judge. The Albert Haynesworth that came through the door shook my hand and started talking with me. That’s the person I’m dealing with. His past, is his past to me.”