FOXBORO, Mass. — Aaron Dobson‘s first NFL game started off with a bang, but it ended with a splat.
That splat was likely the sound of the wet turf where Dobson dropped four passes on the night. At one point, a Dobson drop drew a visibly angry reaction from Tom Brady. Dobson caught three passes for 56 yards on the night, including a 39-yard touchdown on the first play of his NFL career, but the drops were the headline of his debut performance.
Dobson, 22, was noticeably disappointed in himself after the game, but he was also willing to accept the responsibility for his mistakes on the night.
“That’s definitely not acceptable, to drop the ball,” Dobson said. “I’m a receiver, so that’s what I do is catch the ball.”
The rookie receiver wasn’t trying to make excuses for his performance, although he did start out on one before quickly backtracking.
“It’s tough. The ball is wet, but that’s not an excuse,” Dobson said. “What I do is catch the ball, so I got to make the catches.”
As for what he and the struggling passing game can do to improve ahead of their Week 3 matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? Dobson sees the 10-day window ahead as a great opportunity.
“I feel like there are definitely things that we can improve on,” Dobson said. “We had a short week this week, so we’ve got 10 days off right now, so we’ve got to get our timing and stuff together this week going into the next game.”
For a second-round pick, Dobson definitely didn’t look like the highly touted, sure-handed prospect the Patriots thought they were drafting in April. He’s not expected to be a world beater out on the field just yet, but there needs to be improvement otherwise Bill Belichick might have another Chad Jackson – the last Patriots rookie receiver to catch a touchdown in his debut — on his hands. At least Dobson’s aware of his deficiencies, leaving a sense of optimism for the future.