Hogan could still be a hero for Patriots

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – It might seem as if Chris Hogan has been more or less in the background for much of this New England Patriots season.

But that doesn’t mean he won’t be a viable weapon come Super Bowl Sunday. In fact, the numbers show he’s had pretty much the same success.

“I was given a lot of opportunities when I came here,” Hogan said. “I was able to be on the field with a team that was really great with a great quarterback and great coaches. I just had to believe in my abilities.”

Hogan says he still does,despite hampered by a mid-season shoulder injury. He finished with 34 catches for 435 yards and five TDs in the regular season. In the playoffs he’s got three catches for 24 yards and a TD.

But his numbers a year ago show he had just four more catches (38) and one fewer TD (four). But he had more real estate (680 yards) a year ago. He knows, though, he doesn’t have to carry a huge load.

“I would just say the guys in our locker room are very capable of making plays,” he said. “Whatever their role is on the team they work really hard throughout the week , studying and preparing themselves. If they’re not a starter, they’re preparing like they’re a starter.”

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Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy on James Harrison, who joined the team in the final couple of weeks of the season: “James? He’s the man. I love him as a teammate, he’s been awesome in the locker room. He’s a beast. He’s fun, he’s a great guy, great teammate, and he’s been amazing to the locker room.”

But…

“His workout routine? He’s crazy. To be 39 and doing the workout he does, he’s tripping.”

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Former Patriots tight end Ben Watson will be in town this weekend to receive the Bart Starr Award at the 31st Annual NFL Sanctioned Super Bowl Breakfast. The award is given annual to a player who exemplifies character and leadership on and off the field. Watson finished the first year of a two-year deal with the Ravens…

The Patriots and Eagles had the day off other than some having media obligations. But both will begin practice tomorrow, the Patriots at the Vikings practice facility and the Eagles at the University of Minnesota. There will be pool reports/injury reports issued as well for the first time since the teams arrived.