Pats get pick for Hochstein
Hochstein, a fifth-round draft pick by Tampa Bay in 2001, began with New England on the practice squad in 2002 and played in 91 games in the past seven seasons. He sometimes lined up at tight end and blocking back as well as center and guard.
Hochstein's versatility was one of his greatest strengths during his seven years with the Patriots and also ranked high in the Broncos' decision to trade for him, Denver coach Josh McDaniels said in announcing the deal Tuesday.
McDaniels, who as New England's former offensive coordinator is well aware of Hochstein's capabilities, said he could be used all along Denver's offensive front.
"Sometimes the value of players is that they're pretty good at a lot of different roles. Russ certainly has done that in his career," McDaniels said.
The deal for Hochstein marked the second time in a week that McDaniels swung a trade for one of his former players in New England. He previously acquired defensive end Le Kevin Smith from the Patriots.
McDaniels said the players' familiarity with the schemes he brought with him factored in on the trades.
"In the case of Le Kevin and Russ, both of them are familiar with what we're asking them to do at the positions they're playing and that will help that part of the transition. Then it's just about going out there and playing," McDaniels said.
McKenzie, a third-round draft choice from South Florida, is out for the season with a torn ligament in his right knee. Williams missed all last season with a knee injury. He spent his first four seasons with Tennessee and the next two with Minnesota.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press