Michael Hoomanawanui made his return to practice today which means he will likely suit up for the New England Patriots on Sunday. This may not seem like a big deal, but it cannot hurt to have the Hoo Man back.
The main reason to be excited for Hoo Man’s potential return is because he helps as a run blocker. This is crucial because Josh McDaniels must find somebody that can be the primary runner for the Patriots. Stevan Ridley will likely not be that guy for the foreseeable future, so McDaniels must turn to either LaGarrette Blount, Brandon Bolden or even Shane Vereen.
And that is where Hoo Man comes in. If he comes back, McDaniels can use more two tight-end sets to boost the running game. So even though Blount, Bolden and Vereen may not be suited to carry the ball between 15 and 20 times per game, Hoo Man can still help make their jobs easier.
Most running backs will tell people that they are only as good as their blockers. This is certainly true to an extent, as almost any NFL running back can make due if he is given the space to run. Any Patriots running back should have some space with five offensive linemen, Hoo Man and Rob Gronkowski blocking for him. The running game was successful last season when Aaron Hernandez (who is a far inferior blocker to Hoo Man) was blocking guys out there.
So it stands it to reason that Hoo Man can make an impact on the game. He can serve as an extra offensive lineman against what is considered a tough front seven for the Cleveland Browns. And everybody knows that effective run blocking can help take some weight off the shoulders of Tom Brady.
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.