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FOXBORO (CBS) – The Dolphins were on a conference call Wednesday as the New England Patriots get ready for the regular season opener against Miami.
Head coach Tony Sparano and cornerback Vontae Davis were the guys we got a chance to talk as they get ready to open the season in a big division matchup.
“It’s a stepping stone for us,” said Davis. “It’s the first game. It’s a big game for everyone because it’s a division matchup.”
Having coached against Albert Haynesworth numerous times in his career, Sparano knows what the defensive lineman brings to the table in New England.
“He’s a great player, an active player,” said Sparano. “Another big, physical guy in there with Vince [Wilfork] and that group they have there. He can give you pass-rush ability, but more importantly, he’s really active — he’s been around the ball in a lot of games. I’ve had several opportunities to play against Albert and he’s been a handful.”
But Haynesworth isn’t the only new Patriots addition Miami is concerned about. When asked to assess Patriots wide receiver Chad Ochocinco, Davis put the 11th-year wide receiver in Canton despite a quiet preseason.
“He’s still a good receiver… he’s a future Hall of Famer, that’s the kind of guy he is,” said Davis. “I’m pretty sure New England will want to get him the ball as much as possible.”
“Obviously you don’t see a whole lot of him throughout the preseason, but I would envision they would use him in some part of a rotation there, probably try to get him in a few different spots,” added Sparano. “I’m sure it’s part of the learning curve, just getting him in different positions to get him the ball.”
Tune in to the Patriots season opener at 7pm Monday night on 98.5 The Sports Hub with pregame coverage beginning at 4pm. After the game, tune in to the Postgame show on 98.5, and to Patriots Fifth Quarter on TV38.