BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Bill Belichick might have had little to say about some of the New England Patriots' acquisitions this offseason, but two tables away at the AFC coaches breakfast Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings, Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan had plenty to say about wide receiver Chris Hogan, tight end Martellus Bennett and the Patriots' trade of Chandler Jones.
Most notably, Ryan openly wondered how he will go about defending the Patriots' imposing tight end duo of Bennett and Rob Gronkowski.
"I have no idea," Ryan said. "I just think it's unusual to have two guys that are like 6-[foot]-7 and can run, catch, block. So, yeah, it's going to be a major challenge. There's no doubt about that. It's scary when you look at them. Those are two huge guys. How we're going to defend them, I don't know."
When he was the New York Jets' coach, Ryan had the task of devising a game plan against Gronkowski and former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez. Ryan doesn't view the situations as exact matches because Hernandez was "a big wideout" and Bennett is more of a true tight end.
In fact, Ryan scratched his head when asked about a comparison to what the Patriots currently have in Gronkowski and Bennett.
"I can't really think of one," he said. "... I remember Kansas City had [Tony] Gonzalez and they had that kid [Jason Dunn] from Eastern Kentucky at one point, but that's hardly these two. Gonzalez is as good as anybody, but, ah, I don't know. It's going to be interesting."
As for the Patriots trading Jones to the Arizona Cardinals, Ryan smiled.
"Well, that was nice," he said. "But when you look at what New England did, I can see there's a big-picture view there. Chandler Jones will be coming up in free agency, so they had the foresight of seeing what's down the road. He's going to be a hard guy to pay with what he's going to probably command. But they also added an outstanding player with the guard [Jonathan Cooper] that they got from North Carolina, first-round pick. And then draft picks as well. I get it.
"Initially, was I happy to see [Jones] leave? Absolutely, I was happy to see him leave."
In addition to trading for Bennett and trading away Jones, the Patriots also signed Hogan away from the Bills as a restricted free agent, giving Hogan a three-year, $12 million deal.
"Aw, man. Another guy we didn't want to lose," Ryan said. "That kid's tougher than heck. I really like the guy. Big, physical, another great contributor on special teams and he's a good receiver. [Belichick] knew what he was getting. They paid a lot of money for him, but those guys make a difference. He'll be a guy that contributes as a receiver. I don't know if he'll be a starter for them. I don't know. He'll be a contributor there, but he'll be a major contributor as a special-teams player."
"... There's some upside there -- unfortunately. He's a great kid, though. I'm happy for him. Still going to try to kick his butt, but I'm happy for him."