New England Patriots: How Chris Hogan will emerge as Brady’s top weapon

HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 05: Tom Brady /

With Julian Edelman sidelined for the season, wide receiver Chris Hogan could be in line for a breakout season for the New England Patriots.

Who will be the next big offensive star for the New England Patriots?

Chris Hogan of course.

Following a pretty good first season with the Patriots in which he hauled in 38 passes for 680 yards and 4 touchdowns, the former lacrosse player will have an opportunity to be even better in 2017.  Combined with the loss of Julian Edelman and the chemistry he has with Tom Brady, Hogan should be in for a breakout season.

Much like his 180-yard receiving game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship game, Hogan will be Brady’s target when opposing defenses lock in on Brandin Cooks, Rob Gronkowski and receiving backs like James White, Rex Burkhead and Dion Lewis.

HOUSTON, TX – FEBRUARY 05: Chris Hogan
HOUSTON, TX – FEBRUARY 05: Chris Hogan /

His ability to play inside as well as outside will also open up the Patriots offensive playbook to run similar plays that were run for Edelman.  Hogan is not as quick as No. 11, but his sneaky speed and the timing he has with Brady could make him almost as effective.

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Hogan’s time to shine

Don’t get me wrong, losing a player like Julian Edelman is devastating.  But, when you have a player like Hogan, it becomes less of a blow.  Especially if he steps up in the offensive game plan as expected.

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Appearing on Dale, Holley & Keefe this past Monday, head coach Bill Belichick talked about Hogan’s dependability last season and also lauded him as one of the best players on the team.  Talk about a compliment.

"“Chris has done a good job for us,” Belichick said, as transcribed by WEEI.  “I thought he did a good job last year.  He’s built on that with one year of experience.  He’s one of our best players.  Again, another hard-working guy that is tough and has been very dependable for us.”"

Belichick went on to praise Chris Hogan for the chemistry he has developed with Tom Brady.

During the 2016 season, the two connected on a few deep plays transcending Hogan into that deep threat the team has been missing.  Now with Cooks in the mix, I do expect No. 14 to be even more effective even with the absence of Edelman.  Because of that chemistry and trust mentioned above, Chris Hogan could turn into Brady’s top weapon.

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As demonstrated throughout last season and even in Super Bowl LI, he is a clutch player with a knack of making the big play.  Definitely the kind of playmaker Tom Brady loves.