Belichick: DeOssie changed punting game

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Belichick: DeOssie changed punting game

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com Staff Reporter Follow @dannypicard
FOXBORO --With news that the Patriots signed veteran long snapper JamesDearth on Tuesday, Patriots coach Bill Belichick talked in-depth about what he called a key position, and went out of his way to proclaim Steve DeOssie as the manwho single-handedly changed the position.

I think the risk that you run, when you have a regularplayer doing something like that, if something were to happen to them, thenyoud need a replacement in such a key position, said Belichick.

The guy that really changed the game was DeOssie, addedBelichick. When Dallas had him, they went to the spread front formation. Hewas able to snap and block. Prior to that, most teams kept their ends tight."

Belichick said that DeOssie changed the punting game from a9-on-10 at the line of scrimmage, to an 8-on-8, thanks to his special abilityto both snap and block. Before DeOssie did that, the center wasnt responsiblefor a man, and therefore, the kicking team was outnumbered.

DeOssies talents allowed punting teams to spread the ends,and clear things up, changing the game and the position. For that reason, the Patriots went out of their way to sign another long snapper Tuesday.

In a lot of respects, Steve really changed, in my opinion,he changed the punting game in the National Football League, and in college aswell, said Belichick. He was the first one to really allow teams to do that.And then people copied it, and other snappers came along.

Danny Picard is on twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.

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.