FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- One of the things that players joining the New England Patriots for the first time often say is that they aren't looking to the past, but for wide receiver Chris Hogan, he keeps a reminder of the last stop in his NFL career around his left wrist. On a black wristband with yellow writing, it reads "#DoMode."
"It's a little something my guy back in Buffalo started. 'DoMode' is get out here and do your job and do work," Hogan said after Tuesday's mandatory minicamp practice in which he was one of the team's more active pass-catchers.
In Buffalo, Easley introduced the hashtag to players, which touts itself on its official website as a "community of people who like to get things done." It fits Hogan well, as a former collegiate lacrosse player who has taken the underdog road to the NFL.
After all, he entered the league as an undrafted free agent out of Monmouth with the San Francisco 49ers in 2011. He didn't stick and then landed with the New York Giants on their practice squad for two weeks, before he was out of football for most of the year until hooking on with the Miami Dolphins' practice squad in December.
The following summer with the Dolphins, he was a favorite of HBO's "Hard Knocks" and earned the nickname "7-11" because he always seemed to be open. But Hogan didn't stick with Miami, he was out of football for two months of the 2012 season and then he was signed to the Bills' practice squad. A late-season promotion to the 53-man roster set the stage for him to appear in every game over the following three seasons (2013-2015).
Now he's viewed as a key cog in the Patriots' passing game after signing a three-year, $12 million deal this offseason.
"For me, I'm an undrafted guy, so every single year was a battle. Every single year I was on the block -- could be cut, could be released," he said. "That's kind of how I approached it. I never took anything for granted. Every single day was an opportunity for me to be on the field, I came out here ready to work."
Last month, the Bills' Easley used his Twitter account to highlight his #DoMode approach by tweeting "Enough talking, more doing." The fifth-year receiver out of UConn is recovering from a serious knee injury suffered in Week 16 of the 2015 season.
Meanwhile, in New England, Hogan is adjusting to life in a new football culture with the same mindset.
Asked what has stood out to him about the way the Patriots go about their business, he said, "Accountable. You're playing 100 percent every single down. And 'Do Your Job.' I think that's kind of stressed to us every single day. One thing that Coach Belichick has been saying is that you have to keep from losing before you can start winning. I think that's what we're doing out here."