Did he realize he was an option for Tom Brady when the quarterback called the play in the huddle?
“Oh, yeah, every play you’ve got to have that mentality, because the play you don’t [expect] is the play it’s going to come to you and you’ll be on ‘C’mon Man’ or something,’’ Hoomanawanui said, referring to the lowlight segment on ESPN’s NFL studio show. “It’s just the mentality and the preparation that you put into it.’’
Said Godsey, “I think, with Tom, if you’re not looking for the ball, you’re going to get hit in the head with it. He’s looking at all five options and those guys need to be aware that the ball could come at them at any moment.’’
When Hoomanawanui seized upon his moment in London, it triggered an immediate reaction stateside among family and friends.
“Usually if Mike does something good on the TV, then my phone just goes off,’’ said Isy, whose cellphone was bombarded with text messages after Michael’s 18-yard catch. “We get one after another from all over. We get them from Florida, New Mexico, Hawaii, they all start coming in. We got people watching from all over.’’
Said Michael, “It makes you realize how big this game is. Even guys who aren’t Patriots fans watch us because I played with them in high school or college.’’
They all have a rooting interest now in the Patriots tight end with the tongue-twisting last name who remains eager to earn his place – and make his name — in New England.
“It’s a lot for a first-year player in this system to learn,’’ Godsey said of the challenges facing Hoomanawanui. “I think it’s just a gradual process that continues to improve, at least from our impression. I think as the next half of the season goes, we’d like to continue to see it improve and I think he would, too.’’
Michael Vega can be reached at email@example.com.