BOSTON (CBS) – Patriots defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth saw his first action in a New England uniform Thursday night, and although there was some rust, felt right at home.

“I wish I was here earlier,” said the 2008 defensive player of the year. “For me it’s a career-saving place for me to come. I had no idea it would be like this. It’s unbelievable.”

Haynesworth started the game and showed his skills early on. Just 20 seconds in, he contributed on a Giants fumble. He finished with two solo tackles and received a loud ovation from the crowd when his name was announced for them.

While he admits there is still some rust, Haynesworth said he felt good and has put enough time on the field in practice to be ready for New England’s September 12 opener in Miami.

Haynesworth on Patriots Depth

“I felt good. I’m not going to lie to you, my chest started burning. It was a lot colder than I thought it would be. I think this is still summer,” he joked.

“As far as football conditioning, I felt pretty good,” said the 6-6, 336 pounder. “ I’m going to work on my explosion more; knocking people back at the line of scrimmage and getting after the quarterback more.”

Haynesworth praised New England’s depth on the defensive line, with Vince Wilfork anchoring a group of talented veterans. The Patriots also added Shawn Ellis and Andre Carter in the offseason, allowing them to rotate players in and out, keeping them fresh.

“Here we have great depth.  We have guys that go to any other team and start,” said Haynesworth, likening it to his time with the Tennessee Titans. “Like coach tells us, ‘Go as hard as you can however many plays.  If that’s three or four plays, do that, come out. We have someone else.’ I’m going to play as hard as I possibly can; when I get gassed I’m going to come out.”


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