Bill Belichick is a minimalist when it comes to public speaking. The New England Patriots head coach was asked about receiver Aaron Dobson and rookie defensive lineman Dominique Easley.
He said: “They’re making good progress.”
Then they were on the field for practice. According to the Boston Herald, they were subject to the full rigors of practice. Dobson is recovering from a foot surgery and Easley from his ACL, but both players are expected to have a great impact on the team this season.
Second-year receiver and former second-round pick of out Marshall, Dobson needed an immediate return to reestablish his rapport with Tom Brady. He also needs to prevent players like Kenbrell Thompkins and Brandon LaFell from gaining too much ground on the depth chart. The natural pecking order dictates that his draft status and experience would vault him over the pair — Thompkins being an undrafted free agent and LaFell in his first year with the team — but if either player excels then Dobson will see less playing time.
It wouldn’t be outrageous to say that Patriots’ 2014 first-round pick Easely could be an immediate starter. When healthy at the University of Florida, he exhibited incredible talent – perhaps unparalleled. The state of the Patriots’ defensive tackles has potential to be dire. Tommy Kelly, 33, and Vince Wilfork, 32, are seasoned veterans, but they may have been around the block too many times, as both 300-pounders are recovering from injuries. Easely has also shown that he can play defensive end, and Belichick is know for taking advantage of players’ versatility. He will have ample opportunity to start or substitute enough naps at different spots along the line to the degree that he’s getting starter-echelon reps.