Stick to sprinting, Usain

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Stick to sprinting, Usain

I wanted to write about the Patriots this afternoon, but what can I say?

Its great to have them back. It's great to know that real football is right around the corner.

But the excitement just isnt there. Not yet. Of course, once pre-season kicks in (THURSDAY) and fantasy drafts start up (AUGUST 28!), I'll need massive doses of Vicodin to hold off the NFL bug, but for now . . .

Heres a video of Usain Bolt attempting a windmill dunk show before a game at the Garden last year. (ht to HoopsHype)

You know, I always thought that Bolt would make a great NFL wide receiver. And why not, right? He's 6-foot-5, and the fastest man in the world. Give some pads and teach him to run a post-route. But after seeing this video, I'm changing my tune.

Honestly, when I hit play I was expecting one power dribble, a jump step and a dunk reminiscent of 1987 Dominique Wilkins. Instead . . . isn't he a little awkward? I think it's the weird, right-legged skip at the start of his approach that gets me. I'm not sure his coordination is quite up to speed with what you're looking for in an elite NFL wideout. I don't think he's got the hands for it.

Of course, that's fine for him, since he's already the fastest and very likely coolest athlete in the world. Sucks for my dream of one day seeing him in the NFL.

Although maybe the Pats should bring him on board anyway. Would definitely give us something to write about.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Hogan on facing his ex-Bills teammates: ‘Like it’s any other game’

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Hogan on facing his ex-Bills teammates: ‘Like it’s any other game’

FOXBORO – Sunday isn’t some “I’ll show them!” game for Chris Hogan. The Buffalo Bills didn’t give up on Hogan last March. They just weren’t going to extend themselves financially the way the Patriots did.

Hogan, a restricted free agent, was lured to New England by the team’s three-year, $12 million contract offer that had $7.5 million guaranteed. Buffalo, which had no cap space, made it clear before the deadline to match the Patriots offer even expired that they couldn’t keep Hogan.

So now, Buffalo enters Sunday’s game without injured wideouts Sammy Watkins and Greg Salas and must resign itself to watching Hogan run around as an opponent.

“I’m just preparing for the game just like it’s any other game,” Hogan said Friday when asked about the matchup. “[Division] opponent so it’s a big game for us. They’re going to come in here pretty excited. There’s going to be a lot of intensity out there.

“Those guys [the Bills] are all my friends still, but we’re playing a game now,” said Hogan. “Once that whistle blows, 60 minutes, I’m going to be playing football. Afterwards we can talk and do all that. My focus is on doing my job and taking advantage of all my opportunities on Sunday.”

Earlier this week, Rex Ryan spoke glowingly of Hogan, who has eight catches for 122 yards and a touchdown so far.

“It was definitely tough to lose him,” Ryan said Wednesday on a conference call. “We didn’t want to. The thing about Chris is he’s a tough guy, he’s a good receiver and things, but the thing that also impressed me is this guy, he did everything that was asked of him. From being a special-teams player and obviously being a wideout, being in the slot, being outside.”

Hogan has eight catches for 122 yards and a touchdown so far.

“It doesn’t surprise me the type of success he’s having, because he’s really a good football player,” said Ryan. “And when you look at him as an athlete, here’s a big-time lacrosse player who then decides he’s going to play one year of football [in college] and now is in the National Football League. He’s a pretty special talent.”

Hogan acknowledged Ryan’s praise, saying, “Anytime someone pays you a compliment, as a head coach in this league, you obviously take that. That meant a lot to me, especially coming from him. I will be forever grateful to them, that organization. They gave me my first chance. That’s where I really kind of made my, started my career. I was there for four years. I established a lot of relationships with those guys and to this day still do. I will always look back on my career and that’s where I started.”

Patriots won’t have to deal with Bills WR Sammy Watkins on Sunday.

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Patriots won’t have to deal with Bills WR Sammy Watkins on Sunday.

FOXBORO - Scratch the estimable Sammy Watkins from the Bills roster for Sunday. 

Buffalo shared via Twitter that their long, tall wideout is out for Sunday with a foot injury. Also down are wideout Greg Salas and left tackle Cyrus Kouandijo.

The Bills' starting left tackle Cordy Glenn has been dealing with an ankle injury that caused him to miss last week's game. 

Robert Woods will be the Bills best outside threat with Watkins taking Sunday off. The Bills' talented corner Ronald Darby is also trying to get back this week from a hamstring injury that caused him to miss last week's game with Arizona.