|Entering his second season, Taylor Price says he’s ready to make that jump||08.24.11 at 2:49 pm ET|
FOXBORO — It was a strange rookie season for wide receiver Taylor Price.
The Ohio product was inactive for 15 of the 16 regular-season games in 2010, essentially taking a redshirt year while he sat behind veterans like Wes Welker and Deion Branch and learned the system. He did catch three passes for 41 yards in the regular-season finale, but that was it for the 6-foot, 205-pounder.
However, after a month in camp, it’s clear that Price used that year in the system to his advantage. He’s spent the summer angling for the fourth or fifth wide receiver spot in the roster, as well as getting in some work as a return man. In the preseason opener against the Jaguars, he had five catches for 105 yards and one touchdown, and added some work on special teams to boot.
“[With] one year in the system, I feel pretty good,” Price said before practice on Wednesday. “I learned a lot, so I think I’m ready to make that next jump as far as being a rookie and now moving on to a so-called veteran or second year. I’m ready to make that jump and ready to contribute on this team as soon as possible.”
After sitting last week in the preseason win over Tampa Bay because of an undisclosed injury, the 23-year-old acknowledged that it’s a hard thing to keep the momentum generated from his performance in the preseason opener.
“That first game doesn’t mean anything,” said Price, who added that he “can’t wait” to play this week in Detroit against the Lions.
“You have to get back out on the field again, prove it again,” he said. “[You have to] keep proving yourself, because in this league, you have to prove yourself, each and every week. I’m going to keep going out there, keep getting better and keep making plays.”
With a cadre of veterans like Welker, Branch and Chad Ochocinco, reps are hard to come by, but Price said he’s trying to make the most of what’s given to him.
“During training camp, I’m just treating every practice like a game day,” he said. “Going out there, working hard and trying to make every single play. I’m not pressing too much. I’m just going out there and trusting my abilities — just play fast and play football and let everything take care of itself.”
It takes time to build those reps, just as it takes time to build chemistry with quarterback Tom Brady.
“It’s not challenging,” Price said of working with the quarterback. “You just have to go out there and play it. You just have to let your athletic ability take over, your natural instincts as a football player take over and not think too much. It’s easy to think a lot in this offense — what do I have here, what do I have there, what are my adjustments. If you just know your stuff and be prepared, you just go out there and let it all hang out and just flow. You should be all right.”
Price is lockering next to Ochocinco, and said the new wide receiver — as well as the rest of the veterans on the team — have had a big influence on him over the last month.
“Just being a professional,” he said when asked what he’s learning from the veterans. “Your day-to-day activity. Not just on the field and in the meetings, but the day-to-day. How you carry yourself in the locker room. Your relationships. Your chemistry with your quarterback. [Your] relationship with your coach. Just the little things here and there that really help.
“We have great receivers — Wes, Deion, Chad. Whatever I can use from them, like I said … just use anything I can. Just learn. We have some of the best skill players in the league. Just learn from them.”
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