FOXBORO, Mass. — Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth's reduced playing time in the second half of Sunday's loss to the Giants was a result of a positional rotation.
On his final snap, Haynesworth was blown out of his gap by left guard David Diehl, who opened a hole so wide that running back Brandon Jacobs ran freely for a 10-yard touchdown. Yet Belichick said Haynesworth was relegated to bench duty due to the rotation and not performance.
"We had a lot of defensive linemen active, so they played in different rotations," Belichick said Monday. "Vince [Wilfork] is a guy, obviously, that we don't want off the field, but the rest of those guys, they can't all play. One guy plays for a while, then somebody else plays, and we rotate them."
Belichick offered two more similar answers when pressed further about the subject, even how it was possible for Haynesworth to spend the final 24 minutes and 27 defensive snaps on the sideline.
After Jacobs' touchdown, Haynesworth also had an animated exchange on the sideline with Patriots defensive line coach Pepper Johnson. Belichick wouldn't offer any specifics about that.
"Whatever we talk about as a team during the game or in meetings and all that is between the players and the coaches," Belichick said.