FOXBORO, Mass. — Ever since Taylor Price's sterling preseason debut in August, the Patriots have just been waiting for him to take his game to that level in the regular season.
It's been a tough go for Price, who was essentially redshirted during his rookie season in 2010 and injured his hamstring later in the 2011 preseason. He still doesn't have a reception this season, and of the 24 meaningful games (23 in the regular season, one in the postseason) that Price has been with the Patriots, he's been inactive 19 times and didn't play on two other occasions.
Yet, earlier this week, offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien said the Patriots "need" to get Price more reps on the game field. O'Brien noted Price has practiced well, and he deserves more chances to succeed in games.
O'Brien's comments came around the time when the coaching staff was putting together Sunday's game plan for the Giants, so he couldn't say for sure how much of an opportunity Price would actually get. Price, though, alluded to the possibility of getting more reps Thursday.
"Obviously, I'm excited to get on the field more," Price said. "It's never a good situation to stay on the sideline and watch your team play. You always want to be in the game, be in those close games, go into battle and go into war with your teammates. Nothing has changed for me — keep going to practice every day, keep preparing every day, keep working hard and see where it takes me."
Price has always come across as a confident guy, but he knew he had to perform with more consistency to get a chance in a meaningful opportunity. He said he's been "over-preparing" by staying after practice to work on his routes, watching extra film and asking more questions to the coaching staff and his teammates, both about the game plan and the opponent.
Of course, the major factor might be his health, and he said he has overcome that obstacle.
"I'm healthy," Price said. "I'm feeling good. My leg is feeling good, so that's a big part of it. I can be out there more consistently, put practices back to back, putting games back to back. Be out there more so there's not that inconsistency factor. If you see someone out there every day and they're improving every day, that's a good sign."