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Monday, August 5, 2013
Different dimension with Dobson

By Mike Reiss

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- One play from the Patriots’ Monday practice stood out as a missing ingredient that could be returning to the team’s offense.

It came on a scramble play, with quarterback Tom Brady buying time in 11-on-11 drills before throwing to the back left corner of the end zone. Rookie receiver Aaron Dobson had briefly shaken free, but as the football was delivered high, it still was a tight window that would require Dobson to go up and get it.

The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Dobson did just that, leaping up and reaching his arms over his head to snare the approximate 35-yard pass from Brady.

The crowd roared.

As the play ended, the first thought was that Dobson had just flashed some of the basketball-type skills that made him a Division I recruit coming out of high school. We remember that Northeastern had brought him to town for a visit.

When looking back at the Patriots’ offense over the last few seasons, that perimeter threat who can outleap corners and high-point the ball has not been prominent.

In 2011, the top two receivers were Wes Welker (5-foot-9) and Deion Branch (5-9).

Last year, it was Brandon Lloyd (6-foot-0) and Welker.

Dobson, at 6-foot-3, has length that stands out. Add in his leaping ability and it’s something the Patriots haven’t had since the ultra-athletic 6-foot-4 Randy Moss from 2007-2010.