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Michael Hoomanawanui: ‘You’ve got to be ready for your opportunity’ 12.03.14 at 6:59 pm ET
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Michael Hoomanawanui

Michael Hoomanawanui

Lost in the shuffle at tight end at times for the Patriots is Michael Hoomanawanui.

Rob Gronkowski and Tim Wright get most of the headlines, but Hoomanawanui has actually played 43 percent of the team’s snaps this season, according to Pro Football Focus.

Most known for his blocking, Hoomanawanui caught a Tom Brady pass for a big 23-yard pick up in the second quarter, which led to Brandon LaFell’s first touchdown catch, and the first Patriots score of the game on Sunday in Green Bay. It was Hoomanawanui’s third catch of the season. Even though he rarely is targeted, he knows he has to be ready in case his number is called.

“You’€™ve got to be ready for your opportunity because you’€™re one play away from playing,” said Hoomanawanui on a conference call Wednesday. “Whether its five plays a week or 60 plays a week, you’€™ve got to be ready whenever your number is called and take advantage of the opportunities that are given. That’€™s how you put yourself into position to make [plays].”

It’s one thing to be ready for your opportunity, but when you only get some few, it’s important to make the most of them. This is team-wide thing, as we’ve seen it with Jonas Gray a few weeks ago against the Colts, and this past week with Brandon Bolden against the Packers.

“We’€™ve got a lot of great playmakers that are going to show up each and every week,” Hoomanawanui said. “Even more importantly, whether it’€™s me or somebody else like [Brandon] Bolden, we’€™ve just got to take those opportunities and capitalize on them like you said and make the most of them and hopefully they can help us win. That’€™s the ultimate goal no matter who it is.”

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Read More: Michael Hoomanawanui, Rob Gronkowski, Tim Wright, Tom Brady
Michael Hoomanawanui returns to practice ‘hungry’ to get back to full strength 08.18.14 at 9:07 pm ET
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Michael Hoomanawanui

Michael Hoomanawanui

FOXBORO — With only one healthy tight end on the roster for last Friday’s second preseason game with the Eagles, it was tough to watch for the other Patriots tight ends.

Rob Gronkowski, Michael Hoomanawanui and D.J. Williams did not suit up — and after the team released Ben Hartsock last Thursday, it left Steve Maneri as the only healthy tight end on the roster. Gronkowski had been practicing, but not cleared for contact, while Hoomanawanui and Williams missed the entire week of practice.

After re-signing rookie tight end Justin Jones, the Patriots got another tight end back when Hoomanawanui returned to practice on Monday. While 26-year-old returned to practice, he did not take any contact. After stretching he went down to the lower fields to get some conditioning work in — all part of the process in making a full return.

“I feel good,” he said. “Being out there a little bit — with what I did do today — there’€™s not much you can simulate being out there in real time situations, but there’€™s other ways we can try and stay with it. It’€™ll take a little bit. I’€™ll get back to that.”

Hoomanawanui admitted it was hard to watch Friday night, especially seeing Maneri play almost 70 snaps after being signed by the Patriots just five days before the game.

“Especially feeling for your position, knowing what they’€™re going through, taking that many reps, but I’€™ll be out there as soon as I can and be back there with them,” Hoomanawanui said.

“It’€™s obviously disappointing. You never want to be hurt,” he added. ” You watch from the sidelines or inside, watching film is hard when you’€™re not out there. There’€™s a competitive spirit in all of us. You never want to be out. It’€™s unfortunate, but I’€™ll be back. I’€™ll be fine.”

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Read More: 2014 training camp, Michael Hoomanawanui,
Wednesday practice report: DeSean Jackson leaves early after getting ‘cleated,’ Tom Brady, Ryan Mallett get in final reps 08.06.14 at 11:13 am ET
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RICHMOND, Va. — The Patriots and Redskins held their third and final joint practice session in only shorts and shells Wednesday morning in comfortable conditions, leading into Thursday’s preseason opener at FedEx Field in Landover, Md. The only significant news of the 90-minute walkthrough came in 11-on-11 drills when DeSean Jackson appeared to get tangled with a Patriots player off the line off scrimmage.

As he has been all week, Darrelle Revis was defending Jackson and appeared to make contact. Jackson left hobbling and did not return. Redskins coach Jay Gruden opened his post-practice press conference by announcing that Jackson was “cleated” and left with an ankle injury.

“DeSean got cleated today in a walkthrough and twisted his ankle just a hair,” Gruden said. “We’ll see how he does at rehab or treatment and all that. We’ll find out.”

Asked after practice about the contact with Jackson, Revis told reporters, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

The injury is not believe to be serious but it’s likely that the Redskins will be without two of their top receivers Thursday night as Pierre Garcon is nursing a hamstring issue.

The Patriots left immediately after practice, preparing to make the trip north to Landover, Md. for Thursday’s game.

Here are some other takeaways from Wednesday morning:

Tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Michael Hoomanawanui once again headlined the players absent at practice. Also missing were receiver Aaron Dobson, running back Brandon Bolden, defensive back Jemea Thomas, running back Tyler Gaffney, linebacker Cameron Gordon, tight end D.J. Williams, linebacker Ja’Gared Davis, offensive lineman Chris Martin, first-round pick defensive lineman Dominique Easley, receiver Jeremy Gallon and Sealver Siliga, who injured his left hand on Tuesday.

With Gronkowski, Hoomanawanui and D.J. Williams all missing practice Wednesday, expect to see a lot of rookie tight end Justin Jones out of East Carolina. To that end, Jones saw first team reps toward the end of Wednesday’s walkthrough.

Another rookie, running back James White, received significant time with the first team at the start of 11-on-11 as Tom Brady worked on offensive sets near midfield.

Another player to keep an eye on Thursday is receiver Brian Tyms, who has been getting a lot of work with Ryan Mallett and the second team. Tyms has been one of Mallett’s favorite targets this week and made a nice catch on a bullet pass in the back of the end zone in a goal line situation against the Redskins.

Defensive lineman Chris Jones, who played well during his chances last season, was playing alongside Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly as the Patriots continued to show a 3-4 front on Wednesday.

Read More: 2014 training camp, Darrelle Revis, DeSean Jackson, Jay Gruden
Rob Gronkowski: ‘I’m improving every week’ 06.01.14 at 9:35 pm ET
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MELROSE — Rob Gronkowski, quarterback?

Still limited mobility-wise thanks to an ACL/MCL injury that he sustained last Dec. 9, the Patriots tight end assumed the role of signal caller this weekend, throwing passes to hundreds of kids as part of his second annual Citi Rob Gronkowski Football Clinic at Melrose High School.

Speaking to the media for about five minutes during the camp, Gronkowski joked he might be gunning for Tom Brady‘€™s spot in the near future.

“Brady better watch out,”€ Gronkowski remarked. “He knows I’€ve got an arm, too.”

Hundreds of kids attended the event Sunday morning, as Gronkowski, along with his brothers and 50 of the area’€™s top football coaches, helped instruct the camp participants in a variety of drills.

While the two-time Pro Bowler mostly focused on the event during his address with the media, he also talked about his rehab progress and the current state of the New England tight end corps.

Gronkowski acknowledged returning to host the camp has been a great way to take his mind off of rehab.

“Yeah, definitely,” Gronkowski said. “You come out here, you have a great experience with all the kids, it just takes your mind off whatever you have going on at that time.”

Gronkowski continued: “€œI’€™m just doing what I’ve got to do. I’€™m improving every week and that’€™s all that I can ask for. I’€™m just looking forward to every single day after the day that I just did. Tomorrow is a new day, it starts a new week, and [I’€™m] just looking to improve from tomorrow and there on out.”

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Read More: ACL, Dustin Keller, Jermichael Finley, Michael Hoomanawanui
Michael Hoomanawanui ecstatic to be back: ‘No place I wanted to be more than here’ 05.22.14 at 11:56 am ET
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FOXBORO — These are exciting and extraordinarily busy times for Michael Hoomanawanui. The Patriots tight end avoided a harrowing trial in free agency by re-signing with the Patriots in March for two years and $2.4 million, with $500,000 guaranteed. He fulfilled a long-time ambition and goal by flying with the Blue Angels on a 45-minute mission. He’s become a leader in the Patriots locker room.

And he’s been going back and forth to Hawaii to prepare for his summer wedding.

Busy times indeed.

But Hoomanawanui said Thursday morning, taking time from his workout program at Gillette Stadium that he wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Everything is going good. Getting ready for a wedding July 12. It’s kind of nice to be back here, get away from the planning a little bit. But it’s definitely exciting. Going to get back home this weekend, do some more planning for it. We’re almost finished and it’s a real exciting time for us,” Hoomanawanui said.

“My finance is from Hawaii and lot of my family is there, too. It should be a pretty big one, should be fun.”

But before the fun could be had, there was the business of signing back with a team that has shown faith in his skills and his underrated reliability. Was he happy to get that call from Bill Belichick in early March that the team would be bringing him back?

“Absolutely,” he said. “There’s no place I wanted to be more than here. Going into my fourth year in this offense. It definitely helps spring me into this offseason, helping the other guys and taking on a leadership role now. Going into my fifth year, sounds crazy just to say that but it’s definitely been a blessing and looking forward to an offseason of working with the younger guys and getting this thing going.

“It means the world to me for them to have the trust in me, come back re-sign me, Mr. Kraft and Coach Belichick, definitely means the world to me. When I got that phone call that they wanted me back it really meant a lot and I’m just glad to be back.”

Hoomanawanui has proved to be much more than just a serviceable tight end in the Patriots’ complicated offensive scheme. He caught 12 passes in 13 games (10 starts) for 136 yards and a touchdown last season. This came after just five catches in 2012, as he learned the Patriots’ system in his first season in New England.

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Read More: Gronk, Hooman, Michael Hoomanawanui, New England Patriots
Resetting list of Patriots and their own free agents 04.09.14 at 1:04 pm ET
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With Matthew Mulligan agreeing to a deal with the Bears on Tuesday, here’s an updated look at the Patriots 2014 free agent class. If you’re scoring at home, of its 12 free agents, New England has retained four and lost five, while three remain on the market.

Long snapper Danny Aiken: Signed a one-year deal to return to New England.
Running back LeGarrette Blount: Signed a two-year deal with Pittsburgh.
Defensive end Andre Carter: Free agent, but has expressed an interest in returning.
Wide receiver Austin Collie: Free agent.
Wide receiver Julian Edelman: Signed a four-year contract to return to New England.
Linebacker Dane Fletcher: Signed a one-year deal with Tampa Bay.
Tight end Michael Hoomanawanui: Signed a two-year deal to return to New England.
Tight end Matthew Mulligan: Singed a one-year deal with Chicago.
Linebacker Brandon Spikes: Signed a one-year deal with Buffalo.
Offensive lineman Will Svitek: Free agent.
Cornerback Aqib Talib: Signed a six-year deal with Denver.
Center Ryan Wendell: Signed a two-year deal to return to New England.

Read More: 2014 nfl free agency, Andre Carter, Aqib Talib, austin collie
Resetting latest on Patriots and their own free agents 03.20.14 at 3:53 pm ET
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Just over one week into free agency, here’s a status update on each of New England’s free agents:

Long snapper Danny Aiken: Signed a one-year deal to return to New England.
Running back LeGarrette Blount: No updates.
Defensive end Andre Carter: Carter has left the door open for a possible return — he expanded on his feelings in a recent interview with ESPN — but he remains in limbo, at least at this point.
Wide receiver Austin Collie: No updates.
Wide receiver Julian Edelman: Signed a four-year deal to return to New England.
Linebacker Dane Fletcher: Signed a one-year deal with Tampa Bay.
Tight end Michael Hoomanawanui: Signed a two-year deal to return to New England.
Tight end Matthew Mulligan: No updates at this time, but a league source has expressed to WEEI.com some optimism the Maine product could return to the Patriots in 2014.
Linebacker Brandon Spikes: Signed a one-year deal with Buffalo.
Offensive lineman Will Svitek: No updates, but like Mulligan, league sources expressed a belief that the Patriots would welcome him back at a fair market rate.
Cornerback Aqib Talib: Signed a six-year deal with Denver.
Center Ryan Wendell: No updates.

Read More: 2014 nfl free agency, Andre Carter, Aqib Talib, austin collie
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