Is Haynesworth difficult? Without question. But surround him with the right teammates, like the strong leaders in the Patriots locker room, and he will comply. Like most players, Haynesworth needs to be led, he needs to be coached and he needs to be put in the best possible position to succeed. And this is what New England does better than any other organization in the league.
I know Haynesworth has lazy tendencies. I know he does not play hard all the time. But when he does, he is a game changer. He is a player everyone fears, because never can one offensive lineman handle him. The Patriots get a motivated Haynesworth, who will be out to prove his naysayers wrong -- especially Redskins coach Mike Shanahan. Haynesworth and Shanahan got off on the wrong foot and it went from bad to worse quickly and is the reason why he is now in New England. You can bet Haynesworth is already eyeballing the Patriots-Redskins game in D.C. in Week 14.
The Patriots have a good defense, but it struggles when it can't play its own style. The shocking loss to the lowly Browns in 2010 is a perfect example. The Browns were a terrible team when put in third down and long, but excelled in third and short. So when playing Cleveland, defenses knew they needed to create negative plays to gain control of the game. But the Patriots could not do this. They allowed the Browns to always be in third and short, which they were able to convert and keep the ball away from Tom Brady and the explosive offense. The Pats ranked dead last in the league on third-down conversions and they entered the offseason with the goal of trying to find players who could be disruptive.
Enter Haynesworth. When he is on the field, he has to be doubled. With Vince Wilfork lining up next to him, it spells more than trouble for opposing offensive lines. The Patriots now have two power players who will be impossible for linemen to handle. Watch the negative plays pile up for the Patriots this season.
Follow Michael Lombardi on Twitter @michaelombardi