There’s no doubt that the New England Patriots are an undermanned team, especially on offense. Injuries to some of the best players have caused a lot of shifting on the depth chart, with mostly sensible decisions being made. One of those decisions, however, is a complete blunder. For some reason, Michael Hoomanawanui is still the starting tight end for this team.
Even though tight end Rob Gronkowski is not playing, there is simply no reason for Hoomanawanui to be the next man up. He is a lumbering 6-foot-4, 260-pound tight end that is not an asset in the passing game. In fact, the so-called “Hoo Man” has seen his receptions drop every season that he has been in the league. For some proof, these are Hoo Man’s receptions between 2010 and 2012: 13, seven and five. That is barely good enough for a third tight end.
What helps Hoo Man is his blocking skills and his familiarity with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. There is no doubt that Hoo Man makes himself felt while blocking in the running game and the passing game. He is basically like an extra offensive lineman out there. Plus, Hoo Man is entering his third consecutive season in McDaniels’ offense. That is critical too because quarterback Tom Brady doesn’t have to worry about Hoo Man blowing his assignments.
While all of that is well and good, Hoo Man’s talent is not. A blocking specialist should not be a starting tight end, especially considering the high amount of talented tight ends that are emerging in this league. McDaniels should already know what Hoo Man is by now. It’s time to move on from his golden child and give the youngster Zach Sudfeld more snaps. Hoo Man’s lack of talent is definitely holding this offense back.
Philip Alexander is a New England Patriots writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @steely0906, “like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.