Meet the new guy … No. 80, Dorin Dickerson
|12.07.11 at 12:26 pm ET|
FOXBORO — On a team where wide receivers play defensive back and linebackers occasionally shift to corner, Dorin Dickerson should fit right in.
The newest member of the Patriots’ practice squad is a Swiss Army Knife of a player, someone who lined up at wide receiver, tight end and linebacker in college at Pitt. And while he’s lined up strictly on offense during his relatively brief professional career, it’s clear that nothing is out of the question now that he’s in New England.
‘I’m just trying to settle in at this point,’ he said before his first practice with the Patriots on Wednesday morning. ‘I’m just looking to go out there and practice hard and do what I can.’
Expect the Patriots to lean on his versatility. In college, Dickerson started as a wide receiver and kick returner before moving to defense as a sophomore. That year, he played 12 games as a reserve strongside linebacker and had 15 total tackles. As a junior, he moved back to offense and played 13 games at tight end, finishing with 13 catches for 174 yards and two touchdowns. He stuck at tight end as a senior, and had 45 receptions for 508 yards (11.3 avg.) and 10 touchdowns.
The 6-foot-2, 227-pounder was originally drafted by Houston in the seventh round (227th overall) out of Pittsburgh in 2010. As a rookie, he played in seven games mainly on special teams. He was released by Houston on Sept. 3 and was then signed to the Pittsburgh practice squad on Sept. 12 before being released on Sept. 15.
‘I’ve just been sitting out for a little bit. I got a call. Worked out for these guys and it went pretty well,’ said Dickerson, who will wear No. 80 in New England. ‘It’s just a good opportunity for me to help the team or whatever and do what I can.
‘I just know the have a great offense and a great defense and a great organization. I talked to a lot of guys around the league, and they say they have a good organization. I’m just happy to be here.’