Thursday, February 13, 2014

Dobson vows to 'improve in all areas of the game'


Wide receiver Aaron Dobson's rookie season played out like many first-year players before him -- flashes of optimism mixed with a myriad of miscues.

There was his November performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he pulled in five catches for 130 yards and two touchdowns. Or even his pro debut, where he hauled in the team's only touchdown in a 13-10 win over the New York Jets.

What also stuck out, however, were the not-so-impressive stat lines: the three catches on seven targets in the Patriots' OT loss to Gang Green in Week 6, the two drops in the team's win against the New Orleans Saints, the four combined receptions the last five games of the year.
Those are the games Dobson is hoping to eliminate, as he looks to make the oh-so-important transition from raw rookie to informed sophomore.

"Me as a player, I'm trying to get better every day, just improve all areas of the game: blocking, catching, running routes, everything," Dobson said recently, via "I'm just going to try to do whatever I need to do."

The 22-year-old finished ninth among his fellow rookie receivers in receiving yards with 519, which was obviously a bit of a disappointment considering who he had feeding him the ball. Missing four games to injury, however, didn't help.

While quarterback Tom Brady had a down year in terms of passing yards and accuracy, Dobson's reception percentage will obviously be New England's main focal point this offseason. He finished the year with a 52.1 percent catch rate, barely cracking the top 100 among the league's receivers. 

Dobson's improvement will be a big part of the team's overall offensive scheme going into the 2014 season, but the weapons New England places around him will be equally as important.

"I just got to get better, improve and learn to have a better overall understanding of the game and be a better player," Dobson said. "It’s a new year, it’s going to be a whole different team. I’m just excited to get back and start working."

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