FOXBORO, Mass. — Patriots defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth isn't there just yet, but he has made some considerable strides in the team's last two games.
He's been playing with more power, and his conditioning appears to be progressing on a week-by-week basis, especially since the health of his back has improved.
"I'm still knocking off rust," Haynesworth said. "I still haven't played really for two years. It's a step-by-step process."
Haynesworth hasn't shied away from his football abyss for two seasons in Washington — though he's not absolved from fault there, either — and has continually noted that it's been a gradual process to get himself back to peak condition.
He said he's starting to get a better understanding of the Patriots' defensive scheme, which could also factor into his heightened level of play in recent weeks. All of these factors have given him the ability to go harder on a play-by-play basis.
"I'm going to go out there and give 100 percent," Haynesworth said. "I'm going to go as hard as I possibly can. If that's three, four, five plays and then have to come out and take a breather, then I will."