When asked about a specific player, Patriots coach Bill Belichick will often describe the player's preparedness ("works hard") and list several noticeable attributes ("smart, fast, instinctive").
Rarely does Belichick drop any line that reflects a superlative or ranking.
Keep that in mind when reading Belichick's response to a question about Chris Hogan during Monday's WEEI interview.
"Chris has done a good job for us," Belichick said. "I thought he did a good job last year. He's built on that with a year of experience. He's one of our best players, (and) again, another hard working guy that's tough. He's been very dependable for us."
Hogan had a career season in 2016 and seems poised to take another step this year, especially with Julian Edelman lost for the year. He has established an obvious rapport with Tom Brady. He starred in joint practices against the Texans and was terrific in Friday's preseason win over the Lions (four receptions, 70 yards, two touchdowns).