EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

July 29, 2011

Patriots have lost their way

Grab your spiked shoulder pads and hoard the red and blue face paint.

The Oakland Raiders — Eastern regional version — have taken over Patriots Place.

In a pair of deals, New England obtained Albert Haynesworth from Washington and Chad Ochocinco from Cincinnati, severely besmirching the character and reputation of this football franchise.

What's next? Pacman Jones to play corner? He and Haynesworth could split the tab in the VIP lounge at the Foxy Lady.

In these two, coach Bill Belichick adds 261 games and eight Pro Bowls to the team's resume.

But they are a pair of career losers with a .469 winning percentage and plenty of baggage.

For all those offseason problems, the lawsuits, the complaints, the laying down on the job, they do deliver the sage experience of one career playoff win.

One!

Haynesworth is an absolute dog to the 10th power. Belichick could be the savior himself, but this is a guy who tortured two different coaches in Washington after bilking the Redskins out of $41 million (roughly $6.31 million per sack) guaranteed.

Someday, Belichick will be in Canton at the Hall of Fame. Right next to him will be Mike Shanahan, who couldn't find a way to coach Haynesworth into a successful preseason conditioning run, never mind scraping the surface of his potential.

All Haynesworth represents is the next quick fix in the hole vacated by Richard Seymour, a big, fat Band-Aid on a gaping wound at right defensive tackle.

Every time this franchise gets overly frugal, it gets toasted.

Look at the good money and draft picks tossed after bad to fill the void at corner when Asante Samuel was deemed too expensive.

And now we have that "three technique" disruptor spot which Seymour perfected here. Teams — think of the Jets and Ravens for two — have feasted on the hole there as Belichick tried to patch things up with names like Jarvis Green, Mike Wright, Gerard Warren, Ron Brace and Myron Pryor.

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