FOXBORO, Mass. — Dwayne Allen is expected to be the New England Patriots’ No. 2 tight end this season, but he has not made the greatest impression thus far.
Allen, whom the Patriots acquired in a trade with the Indianapolis Colts earlier this offseason, dropped three passes during 11-on-11 drills on Day 1 of mandatory camp and had another slip through his hands on Day 2.
Speaking with reporters after Tuesday’s session, the 27-year-old admitted he has not played up to his ability.
“There’s a standard of excellence (in New England),” Allen said. “So if you drop a pass, that’s not excellence.”
He added: “It’s always frustrating whenever you don’t do your best — whenever you don’t play to the standard that is set here. (It’s) a lot of frustration, because I know that I can play better and I know that I am better.”
Allen’s final season in Indianapolis was his most productive since 2012. With Andrew Luck throwing him the football, he caught 35 passes for 406 yards and six touchdowns in 14 games. That came after he managed just 109 receiving yards in 13 games in 2015.
Right now, Allen projects as Rob Gronkowski’s understudy in New England, with James O’Shaughnessy, Matt Lengel, Jacob Hollister and Sam Cotton battling for the third tight end spot behind them. Asked how he sees himself fitting into the Patriots’ offense, Allen correctly noted the season still is a long ways away.
“I think every year’s different,” he said. “… Throughout spring and throughout fall training camp, whatever my role develops (into), I’ll fall in line and play it to the best of my ability.”
Thumbnail photo via Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports Images