January 13, 2013

Patriots Beat: Replacements play huge role

By Mike Lowe mlowe@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

"Shane obviously made a lot of big plays,' said Belichick. "But Hooman did a great job, too, as he's been doing the last month or so.

"These kind of games you don't really know, when that dial spins, who it's going to end up on. Those guys were prepared. It's a credit to everyone to be ready."

Other teams have players go down and replace them. But Gronkowski's loss is huge.

He is regarded as perhaps the best tight end in football, a fierce blocker who has also scored at least 10 touchdowns in three consecutive seasons.

So instead of throwing to Gronkowski, the Patriots went to Aaron Hernandez, who caught six passes, averaging 14.2 yards. Or they ran the ball, with Hoomanawanui blocking.

Instead of Woodhead swinging out of the backfield on a mismatch with the linebacker, it was Vereen.

"I come into the game ready to go and if my number is called, I do my best for the team," said Vereen.

"We hate to lose Woody. He is such a key part of our offense, but at the same time, all of the running backs hold ourselves accountable to be able to step up when somebody goes down."

And so it was Sunday. Just as it always is.

Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at:


Twitter: MikeLowePPH


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