Well let me tell you something, brother! You can add me to the list of people that is completely surprised with Chris Hogan’s performance thus far. I know a lot of people loved Hogan for his catchy “7/11″ nickname but this time last year I was actually not a fan of him. It wasn’t so much him that I had a problem with, it was his comparison to Wes Welker (because he’s white?) that just had me annoyed.
Where I really started to notice this guy was on special teams last year, where I considered him our Special Teams standout. Eventually Hogan made his way onto the field when we were depleted with injury at the WR position and surprised me even more as he was very serviceable in the slot as a backup to Stevie Johnson, making a couple of key grabs for us late in the season.
I know his past, he played at powerhouse Monmouth college for one season after completing a scholarship at Penn State for lacrosse. It’s a nice story, of course, but it wasn’t until this past Friday’s game that I really put what that meant into perspective. Steve Tasker commented on his one season of college ball and then commented how this is his 4th year of football… Combined. Now let that sink in, because I was blown away by that when it was actually put into perspective. Hogan played high school ball, excelled at lacrosse, played lacrosse for 4 years, walked on the Monmouth college football team just for the heck of it, then got signed as an UDFA to San Francisco. He bounced around on practice squads and finally ended up making our team and playing in 16 games last year, mostly on Special Teams.
Where I was really shocked was when Hogan lined up as the starter in the slot over Robert Woods. Robert Woods is arguably our most talented receiver, yet Hogan was taking first team reps over him. In the long run, this could mean nothing, Robert Woods might be our go to slot receiver and Hogan might act as a backup… But would that be so bad? The answer is no. For the first time in a long time we are seeing a very talented and deep set of WR here in Buffalo.
The fact of the matter remains, Chris Hogan is an amazing athlete who is just coming into his own in the football world. I believe that this is one of my favorite camp story lines right now and I am interested to see how this plays out.
On a side note, today is Hulk Hogan’s birthday. Hulk Hogan is the most recognizable figure in the history of Sports Entertainment, so I think it would be wise for Chris Hogan to start acting like Hulk Hogan a bit more. He could go either way and go traditional Hulk Hogan and deem himself a real American, do the ear thing to the crowd, get us pumped up, press slam Revis and give him a leg drop in the middle of the field, however he wants to handle it.
He could also go in the Hollywood Hogan direction, an arrogant bad guy that is mean but backs it up by being good. In both situations he would have to grow a handlebar mustache, dye his hair blonde and shave the top of his head bald, and start talking in a deeper voice and say “dude” and “brother” a lot.