The thing about being fast is, when you’re fast and you happen to play wide receiver, and people figure out you’re fast, it’s tough to shake that “burner” label.
And we all know what “burner” really means. A guy that does go routes and not much else. A one-trick pony, even if that trick is arguably the coolest play in football.
Still raw in his routes, relying on pure speed. Inconsistent with his hand placement to catch and lets the ball get on top of him. Small frame and will have to withstand hits over the middle as a slot receiver.
And from Bleacher Report:
Dorsett was never a dominant player at Miami and had only 36 catches as a senior.
Dorsett relies on pure speed instead of technique as a route-runner and must work on breaking routes and footwork when asked to plant-and-go.
He doesn’t have the play power to beat press coverage consistently and has rarely faced a jam due to his speed.
We could go on. You get the idea. Phil’s not getting mistaken for Antonio Brown anytime soon.
Go forth and ball.
Any Pats fan or fantasy player worth their Brady jersey already knows Dorsett’s stat line from Sunday’s W against the Texans - 7 catches on 7 targets, a tidy 9.4 yards per reception, and of course, his first trip to the end zone as a New England Patriot. That’s 101-level.
It’s how Phil did it that should get anyone who just assumed he couldn’t harness the POWAH of his speed for anything but going deep more than a little excited.
Hint: how many of those receptions were on go routes?
Zero. Zilch. None of ‘em. A big old goose egg. Check this out:
(Because I’m easily amused, please note that there are no “incomplete routes” shown. Cause Dorsett caught everything Brady threw him.)
Is that a Patriots-esque set of catches, or what! You’ve got a couple slants, that out-route for the touchdown, another couple out-routes on both sides of the formation, and that one that he caught in space behind the line of scrimmage split out wide by himself. No long bombs, just good old fashioned Tom Brady putting the ball where the defense ain’t and Dorsett doing his job.
You guys like videos? I know I do! Roll it!
One more for the road: check out former NFL QB Dan Orlovsky’s analysis on the little finesse moves and attention to detail went into Dorsett’s first TD in blue and silver. This is what working on your craft when nobody’s watching looks like, kids:
Josh McDaniels for the @Patriots is so so so good at putting guys in positions to be successful and attacking specific coverages/leverages. Gets @Dorsett_4 1on1 with leverage-pitch and catch TD. @BenVolin @patspulpit @MikeReiss @FieldYates @DougKyed @jeffphowe #PatsNation pic.twitter.com/9gktxS4zWR— Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) September 11, 2018
If you’re stuck at work or in class or something, here’s what Dan is saying: Dorsett understands the route and the play well enough to know that Hogan is drawing one corner to the outside, and if he (Phil) breaks his up-and-out route to the outside too early, that corner that’s covering him can jump it and pick it every time, just like they do in Madden when you try to throw that out-route too early. Instead, Dorsett’s patient enough to sell it and let the play develop, THEN make his move to the outside with nothing but green grass to his left and, bingo bango, 6 points on the board.
This is going to be the Phillip Dorsett the Patriots need to survive, and not just for the next 3 weeks, either.