Foxboro - Bill Belichick was in touch with Phillip Dorsett prior to the draft in 2015. Belichick only remembers positive things being said about Dorsett who the Indianapolis Colts selected in the first round. For a variety of reasons, it didn't work out for Dorsett in Indianapolis where he had only 51 catches in two seasons. After only two years with the Colts, Indianapolis essentially gave Dorsett away to the Pats for backup QB Jacoby Brissett. Yes, Dorsett has great speed, but the question has been his route running ability and whether he has the size to hold up as an NFL receiver.
Last year, the production wasn't much better where Dorsett had only 12 catches. 2018 started better for Dorsett with 16 catches in the first four games. He has had only nine catches since - largely because the now suspended Josh Gordon took his place in the lineup. Now, the question is whether the Pats can count on him to be a reliable target in the playoffs.
"Yeah, I mean, he’s a great kid. I think everybody saw that at Miami – the coaches and the people that we talked to down there. That’s all positive. A productive receiver, fast, quick, good hands. He went in the first round, so a talented player. He’s been all of that," Belichick said.
Belichick has been impressed with his work ethic in practice and downfield blocking.
"He does whatever you ask him to do, does his best at it, tries to get things right. Whatever you need him to do, he’s there for you. We ask him to do a lot of different things in practice. Things that involve the kicking game, things like that. But in terms of his role offensively, whatever we’ve asked him to do he’s always done the best that he could and given us – the Super Bowl was a good example. But he’s always ready to go. He came in here, it was a tough situation last year with training camp over and having to re-learn the offense and all of that on the run. He worked really hard at it and did a good job. He’s done a good job for us this year whenever we’ve called on him," Belichick said.
Tom Brady has High Praise for Former Teammate Ben Watson
Former New England Patriots tight end and current New Orleans Saints tight end Ben Watson announced that he will retire at the end of the season. The Pats drafted Watson in 2004, a respectable tight end in New England, and Watson is remembered most for chasing down Broncos CB Champ Bailey from behind in an AFC playoffs loss to Denver in 2005. It didn't end well for Watson in New England. Most notably, Bill Belichick said in a 2009 Football Life that the Pats couldn't throw the ball to the tight end, which was Watson's last year in New England. Watson's longevity has been impressive. Bills DT Kyle Williams will retire at the end of the year too.
"Yeah, well, both great players, guys I have a lot of respect for. I knew Ben from when he was here but have stayed in contact with Ben through the course of his career. Kyle, I got to know at the Pro Bowl. That was a long time ago and I’ve seen him on a regular basis. Both guys are good people, great players who had great careers. I have a lot of respect for both of them," Belichick said.
Added Tom Brady "Ben’s been a great friend for a long time and had an incredible career. He’ll certainly be missed. He had a great impact on this team and every team he played for because of the person he is. He’s just a great man, great father, great husband, great player, great teammate. We’ll always be in touch so wish him nothing but the very best."
Decent player, great guy.
Belichick Still Has Faith In Derek Rivers
Last year the Pats first pick in the 2017 draft Derek Rivers missed his rookie year because of injury. This year Rivers has only been active for five games.
"Yeah, I mean, he’s obviously been healthy. He’s worked hard every day. Last year we had a ton of injuries at that position. This year we’ve been totally healthy there so the opportunities, well we have more people for the same number of opportunities, but last year was a totally different situation so it couldn’t be more different from year to year. When he’s had an opportunity, he’s done well with it, both in practice and in games. I think he’s got a really good future. I’m glad we have him. He could be a good player. I think he is a good player, it’s just kind of a little bit of a situational thing right now," Belichick said.
Rivers must translate his work in practice onto the field.
Injury Notes for Sunday's Game: Jacob Hollister (hamstring) is out. Cordarrelle Patterson (knee), Dwayne Allen (knee), Brandon King (knee) and LaAdrian Waddle (illness) are all questionable for Sunday's game. The Jets are limited at wide receiver as both Jermaine Kearse and Quincy Enunwa are out for Sunday's game. Enunwa just signed a new contract with the Jets.