Before moving onto preparing for the Cowboys, Bill Belichick gave some props to a player he dealt away last week.
The Patriots head coach gave props to tight end Michael Hoomanawanui on Sunday during a conference call after he dealt the veteran to the New Orleans Saints for defensive end Akiem Hicks.
“[He] had a lot of position versatility, smart guy. We won a lot of games with him,” Belichick said.
Of course, Belichick wouldn’t have felt comfortable pulling the trigger on the deal if he didn’t feel Michael Williams, acquired in a deal with Detroit in August, hadn’t worked hard to get up to speed.
“I think Mike has done a good job coming in here and learning what we’ve asked to him to do in a relatively short period of time, and I think he’s got a good future in front of him,” Belichick said. “But again, all that being said, it wasn’t like we were looking to move on from Hooman, but you have to give up something to get something. So that was really more of the nature of that trade. I don’t think it was necessarily a commentary on, I mean, I feel good about our tight end situation, but again, if you want to get something, you have to give up something, and sometimes that’s what you have to do.
“I think Mike has done a good job, and I’m glad that we have him, and he’s learned. He wasn’t playing that position at Detroit. He was playing more of the tackle position, so it’s been a transition for him as far as learning what to do and re-acclimating his technique and so forth to the tight end position. He’s done a good job of that. It’s certainly a credit to him that he’s come as far as he has in the past few weeks in terms of making a position change and that type of thing. That’s been good, no question about that.”
As Chris Price noted, Belichick has been a wheeler dealer of late, not afraid to pull the trigger on trades if it adds a veteran for depth, even if that veteran is headed for free agency at the end of the season.
“I’d say that’s definitely true,” Belichick said. “Yeah, no question about it. It’s worked out that way. We felt like we could make some moves that would help us, obviously, and we’ll see how it all turns out. We felt some players that we’ve acquired ‘ all those guys you mentioned ‘ at the time we did it we thought they would be beneficial for us and they’d be productive for us. Some of those guys have, and we’ll see how it goes with this new group.”
Last year, the Patriots acquired linebackers Jonathan Casillas and Akeem Ayers, both of whom left the Patriots after winning a Super Bowl.
“I just think they worked out,” Belichick said. “I don’t think it’s been any, like a big conscious effort on our part, like this is what we’ve got to do. If it works out and it’s something we feel is beneficial, and obviously you can make it work with the other party, then ‘¦ You know, we haven’t been afraid to trade here through the years, whether it be during the draft or preseason or regular season or whatever it is. I don’t think there’s ever been a conscious effort to avoid them or for that matter run to them and say well, we’ve got to do it.”