Learn­ing ‘O’ on the go

Dorsett: I’m get­ting there

Boston Herald - - PATRIOTS GAMEDAY PREVIEW - By JEFF HOWE Twit­ter: @jeff­phowe


NEW OR­LEANS — Af­ter trot­ting out Phillip Dorsett for a lim­ited work­load against the Chiefs, the Patriots may have no choice but to give the wide re­ceiver much more re­spon­si­bil­ity to­day against the Saints.

Dorsett was in a tough spot a cou­ple weeks ago, hav­ing just three prac­tices to pre­pare for Kansas City. As such, he only played 18 snaps (22.2 per­cent) — his low­est out­put since his rookie sea­son with the Colts in 2015 — and didn’t catch any passes.

He thinks things have pro­gressed a bit more in his sec­ond week, though Dorsett isn’t naive enough to think he’s made up for lost time.

“I’ve caught up a lot, definitely a lot,” Dorsett said. “It’s been a lot of hard work, but I’ve been study­ing night and day. It’s definitely a lot in this of­fense, and I’m not re­ally caught up to speed be­cause it’s so much, but I think I’m get­ting it.”

The Patriots traded quar­ter­back Ja­coby Bris­sett to land Dorsett dur­ing fi­nal ros­ter cuts, just five days be­fore the opener. By the time he ar­rived in Foxboro, the Patriots were fo­cused on game plans, not the in­stal­la­tion of the of­fense. By that no­tion, Dorsett has al­most no chance to catch up to some­one like Brandin Cooks, who ar­rived in March and went through the en­tire off­sea­son work­out pro­gram.

But with Ju­lian Edel­man and Mal­colm Mitchell on in­jured re­serve, and Danny Amen­dola deal­ing with a con­cus­sion and left knee ail­ment, Dorsett needs to step up to help Cooks and Chris Ho­gan. Even if Dorsett is only tasked with a frac­tion of the game plan, it’ll help.

“The play­book, it’s not sim­ple,” Dorsett said, “but at the end of the day, you just have to work, just have to get the tim­ing down with Tom (Brady). If they tell you how to do it, you can do it like that. It’s not too dif­fer­ent. At the end of the day, it’s about prac­tic­ing what you do on the field and go­ing out there and just work­ing through it.”

Dorsett said the Patriots and Colts run some sim­i­lar con­cepts, but the Patriots have a lot more of them and uti­lize more for­ma­tions.

The Pats wouldn’t have forked over Bris­sett if they didn’t be­lieve Dorsett was ca­pa­ble of fig­ur­ing it out. The for­mer first-round pick is con­fi­dent but re­al­is­tic, and it sounds like he isn’t wast­ing any time with his study habits.

“Keep your head in the play­book,” Dorsett said. “What­ever you write down, go home, write it down again. Just try­ing to re­mem­ber ev­ery­thing you were taught.”

Quar­ter­back wolf­pack

Jimmy Garop­polo was ex­cited to learn Bris­sett will get his first chance to start to­day for the Colts, who are short­handed while Andrew Luck con­tin­ues to recover from shoul­der surgery.

Coach Chuck Pagano de­cided Fri­day that Bris­sett would start Indy’s home opener against the Cardinals over Scott Tolzien, ac­cord­ing to a Colts source. So it took Bris­sett less than two weeks to prove his worth to his team­mates and the coach­ing staff. Con­sid­er­ing Luck may not re­turn un­til Oc­to­ber, Bris­sett could be in the driver’s seat for a while longer.

“Good for him,” Garop­polo said. “He has earned it. He is a great player, and I wish him noth­ing but the best. Hope­fully he goes out and gets that win.”

Tolzien was hor­ren­dous in the Colts’ sea­son-opening loss to the Rams, and Bris­sett yielded a late spark in relief. He com­pleted 2-of-3 passes for 51 yards and led a touch­down drive on his first se­ries.

Garop­polo was so in­trigued by Bris­sett’s de­but with his new team that he went back to watch him on film. Garop­polo was par­tic­u­larly im­pressed with Bris­sett’s 50-yard com­ple­tion to Donte Mon­crief.

“That was im­pres­sive,” Garop­polo said. “Mon­crief went up and got that one, and it gave them a lit­tle mo­men­tum at the end of the game.”

Garop­polo ob­vi­ously won’t get a chance to watch Bris­sett to­day, as the Pats and Colts are play­ing at the same time, but he’ll prob­a­bly fol­low up on his for­mer team­mate’s per­for­mance as soon as he can. The wolf­pack is ob­vi­ously still in­tact.

“I sent him a text, just wished him luck and ev­ery­thing,” Garop­polo said. “He is still my guy. I wish him noth­ing but the best. He is in a good sit­u­a­tion.”

‘It’s definitely a lot in this of­fense, and I’m not re­ally caught up to speed be­cause it’s so much, but I think I’m get­ting it.’ — PHILLIP DORSETT, ac­quired for Ja­coby Bris­sett from the Colts

Tight spot

Un­drafted rookie tight end Ja­cob Hol­lis­ter was one of two healthy scratches in the sea­son opener, so he clearly has a hill to climb be­fore mak­ing an im­pact. But with just three healthy wide re­ceivers, an ex­tra tight end may be how to make up for the short­age.

The brunt of Hol­lis­ter’s sum­mer work­load came with the back­ups, in­dica­tive of a lim­ited amount of chem­istry with Brady, but he is a re­ceiv­ing tight end who could help in a pinch if Bill Belichick be­lieves he can carve out a lim­ited role.

“Jake is work­ing hard,” Belichick said. “He was in­ac­tive against Kansas City, so we didn’t re­ally see much there.

“He’s a young player with hope­fully the best football ahead of him. If he con­tin­ues to work hard, and im­prove, and get stronger, do a bet­ter job with his in­di­vid­ual tech­niques and fun­da­men­tals, train well, I think he has a fu­ture. But he has a long way to go. He has a lot of work to do. He has some skill.”


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