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Aaron Dobson Catches on Quickly



FOXBORO – Transitioning from college football to the NFL is an uphill battle for any rookie. The game’s faster, the players are better and the margin for error is smaller.

That rings especially true if you’re a wide receiver on the Patriots.

Many rookies have tried to connect with quarterback Tom Brady, but most have failed. And Aaron Dobson is doing everything he can to avoid being added to the list.

Through six weeks of his first NFL season, the second-round draft pick has had his fair share of trials and tribulations. But through it all, Dobson’s primary focus has been on making the necessary improvements and adjustments to connect with Brady.

It’s easier said than done, but if Sunday’s win against the New Orleans Saints is any indication, the 22-year-old has taken a step in the right direction.

“It’s definitely a big learning curve,” Dobson said. “Me being a rookie, it’s going to be like that. I’m just trying to keep improving every week though. You know, I’m not trying to have any setbacks or go get worse or anything like that. I’m trying to keep going up and keep getting better.”

In Sunday’s 30-27 comeback win, Dobson led the Patriots with six catches for 63 yards. He also played a career-high 80 snaps (91 percent of the team’s total).

Getting on the same page as Brady has historically been challenging for first-year receivers. The only rookie wideout to have a small ounce of success was Deion Branch, who caught 43 passes for 489 yards in 2002.
Dobson, who was inactive for Week 1, is on pace for 57 receptions and 613 yards. He and the other rookies meet with Brady every Tuesday, on the team’s off day, for private film sessions.

“It’s great,” Dobson said. “Being in the film room with him, he’s definitely like the coach on the field, so being in there with him I get to see what he tells me he sees so we can try to see out of the same set of eyes. It definitely helps and benefits us a lot”

Sunday’s game was not all positive for Dobson. Though he did a good job getting out of bounds on the game-winning drive, he also had two drops. The first drop was on the first pass of the game and the second was on a late fourth-down play.

But the rookie said if there’s one thing he’s learned from Brady, it’s to have a short memory.

“Especially with Tom,” Dobson said. “I had a drop early. I know he’s not going to stop throwing me the ball. He’s going to come back to me just because. So if it happens, OK, I just let it go. I can’t just keep dwelling on that because that can keep affecting other plays later in the game. You’ve got to have a short memory.”

  • by 245 master
  • posted at 2:22 pm
  • October 10, 2014