Who ever thought that the absence of Michael Hoomanawanui would get so much attention? Well, he is going to miss another game due to a knee injury, and that is definitely a loss for the New England Patriots.
Hoo Man might not be a talented receiving tight end, but his blocking has definitely been noticed. The young tight end plays like an extra offensive tackle, which is very important for a few reasons.
Reason No. 1 is Hoo Man can get help get running game going. Run blocking is usually a strength for the Patriots’ offensive linemen, but it has been inconsistent this season. The New England offensive linemen have struggled against some of the more dominant defensive linemen in the league, like the ones on the Cincinnati Bengals and Carolina Panthers.
This is where Hoo Man comes in. He can help the Patriots become a more physical team, which is going to be crucial if Bill Belichick has any aspirations of coaching his team to win the Super Bowl. When the weather gets colder the running game becomes more crucial.
Hoo Man’s ability to stay in-line and block is also key in playing off of Rob Gronkowski. Gronkowski is free to run more routes if Hoo Man can hold the fort down as a blocker. One could argue that Hoo Man is a better blocker than Gronkowski, even though it is definitely a close battle.
So Hoo Man’s blocking ability helps in both the running game and passing game. There is no doubt that he is a multi-faceted threat and will be missed for as long as he is gone.
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.