FOXBORO — It took a while for Phillip Dorsett to get acclimated to New England.
“My stuff literally just got here probably like two weeks ago,” the former Colt said after Tuesday’s practice. “I stayed in a hotel for about almost two months, so it’s been ... not rough -- I [got] used to it -- but I’m all settled in now.”
While Dorsett finally has his belongings, he and the Patriots are still waiting for his production to arrive. Since being acquired from the Colts in a deal for Jacoby Brissett, the speedster out of Miami has only recorded catches in two games. On the season, he’s totaled just four receptions.
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Bill Belichick sang Dorsett’s praises Tuesday morning, saying the third-year pro has gotten better each week, a claim that would seem to disagree with what’s been static non-production.
Then again, Dorsett wouldn’t be the first receiver to join the Patriots and take a while to fit in. Jabar Gaffney had a pedestrian first regular season with the Pats but made an impact in the playoffs. The question is whether Dorsett experiences a fate closer to Gaffney’s or, say, Doug Gabriel, who joined the Pats via trade, kind of stunk and was out of the league before long.
Of course, even Gabriel had 25 catches over 12 games. Dorsett is seemingly still trying to show Tom Brady and the coaching staff that he’s worth targeting.
“They’ve asked me to do a lot of things, and when you get it you’ve just got to go home, you’ve got to work at it. It’s repetition,” Dorsett said when asked about learning a new system.
Added Dorsett: “There’s a lot thrown at you, a lot of different formations, a lot of movement … I’m used to it. I played in a pro system in college and I guess that’s what’s helped me, and I played in a pro system when I got to the NFL.”
The ceiling for Dorsett is obviously high. That he was traded at all turned heads given that he was selected in the first round of the 2015 draft and had shown improvement from his first year to his second season. Plus, his 4.33 speed alone would make him an intriguing addition for any team.
He just hasn’t put it all together yet. He’s young (24) and he plays for a contending team that doesn’t just hand out snaps. With Chris Hogan’s shoulder potentially providing another blow to the Patriots’ receiver group, maybe more opportunity could be on the way. He and the Pats can only hope there’s more production if it comes to that.