FOXBORO -- Things are going pretty well for Michael Hoomanawanui.
Flew with the Blue Angels earlier this offseason. A Hawaiian wedding this summer. A new contract.
The Patriots tight end turns 26 on the Fourth of July and he has designs on making himself even more useful to the Patriots offense.
On Thursday, Hooman said, “There’s no place I’d want to be more than here.”
With a new two-year contract signed this offseason, Hoomanawanui feels liberated to take on a bigger role.
“It’s my fourth year in the offense (dating back to St. Louis when Josh McDaniels was the Rams OC and Hooman was a fifth-round pick from Illinois)," he said. “[I feel I’m] taking leadership role now going into my fifth year. It means the world for [the Patriots] to have the trust in me to re-sign me. When I got that phone call that they wanted me back, it really meant a lot.”
The leadership aspect, he says, isn’t really premeditated.
“It’s not something where they say, ‘Do this,’ or, ‘’Do more of that.’ It’s something you grow into going into your fifth year being a veteran guy,” he explained.
The need for mentorship in the Patriots scheme is real.
“It’s not easy to play in this league, let alone here. Especially in our offense,” he said. “It’s not the easiest thing but once you get it, you can be very valuable.”
Hooman and Rob Gronkowski are the most tenured tight ends in the offense. With Gronk injured, there’s much mentoring for Hooman to do as a fleet of undrafted rookies try to grasp the offense.
All the tight ends are under a new position coach, veteran offensive coach Brian Daboll
“For us having a new position coach in Daboll, he’s done a great job,” said Hoomanawanui. “It's a little different style than I'm used to, but very energetic, very in-your-face. He's going to get the best out of you. He’s been around for a long time and coached a lot of great players, so we’re all excited about having him.”