Michael Hoomanawanui almost didn’t make it to New Orleans.
The tight end was in an airport last week, in line to catch a flight home to Arizona, when his agent called to tell him he had been traded from the New England Patriots to the Saints.
“Thank god I wasn’t on the plane, that would have made things a lot more difficult,” Hoomanawanui said. “I went home, packed up and turned the page.”
Now he’s trying to digest everything on the pages contained within his new playbook.
Hoomanawanui did not play during last week’s game against the Dallas Cowboys after arriving in New Orleans late Thursday night. He said that he’s hoping to be up to speed to the point where he can play this week against the Philadelphia Eagles.
There likely aren’t a lot of similarities between the two offenses in terms of the language. The Saints offense and terminology has its roots in a West Coast system, while the Patriots’ offense has its roots in the Erhardt-Perkins system and is built upon a lot of option routes.
It’s not uncommon for some of the calls in New Orleans to be around a dozen words long. In New England, a typical play might sound something like “73 Ghost/Tosser.” The Patriots even use one-word play calls when going no huddle.
It’s different, but Hoomanwanui is confident he can conquer it quickly.
“It’s football at the end of the day. That aspect never changes,” Hoomanwanui said. “Terminology, getting used to it and getting used to guys in the locker room.”
While he’s working on that, fans of the Saints will likely still be trying to figure out how to pronounce the new tight end’s last name. Don’t worry if you mess it up. He understands.
“I’m used to it. I realize that everyone is human,” he said. “It’s not the easiest last name. I do appreciate it when people try it and give it their best effort realizing it’s not easy.”