By: Ian Logue
After sitting through minicamp and OTA’s, we’ll be taking a look at each of the new guys over the next couple of weeks to see exactly what we’ve learned from published news reports about each of them heading into Training Camp next month. Today we’ll look back at what we’ve heard from reports on 3rd round draft pick – wide receiver Taylor Price.
With Wes Welker potentially sidelined to start the season, it appears that there’s quite a battle brewing for the Patriots’ number three receiver spot, and several people in the media seem to feel that Price could be a potential candidate after what they’ve seen so far during minicamps and OTA’s.
Photo of former Ohio University wide receiver and Patriots rookie 3rd round pick Taylor Price from the Senior Bowl (PHOTO CREDIT: Icon/SMI)
Jeff Howe of NESN.com is one of the media members out there that feels Price is an intriguing option for that spot should Welker start the year on PUP. According to Howe he had two excellent showings, and has the ideal build and speed for an outside receiver. Howe also said that Price really looked the part at practice, and looked extremely solid while running sideline routes and seemed to catch everything thrown in his direction.
Price wasn’t allowed to participate in the Patriots offseason program and passing camps due to an NFL rule that prohibits college seniors when they’re drafted from participating in spring practices – with the exception of rookie mini-camp – until after their graduating class has completed its final exams.
“It’s frustrating, but it is what it is,” Price told Jeff Howe of NESN.com regarding the rule. “You’ve got to go with it. There’s nothing you can do about it but do as much as you can while you’re away from the field.”
He was able to participate during the rookie minicamp back in May, but prior to this month that’s the only time he’s had to start working with the team. Glen Farley of the Patriot Ledger reported that the majority of work has happend through the mail.
“I took some information back with me after rookie camp, studied that,” Patriots third-round draft pick Taylor Price said Wednesday. “They sent me some stuff in the mail so I was reviewing that. Talking to coaches over the phone, (they were) giving me some review sessions, just try(ing) to keep me caught up as much as possible.”
According to Howe Price actually had a tremendous first practice back on Tuesday June 15th, as the coaching staff gave him plenty of reps, but he cramped up toward the end of the session, which Howe said was likely a result of being out of football shape.
On Wednesday he reportedly saw his reps scaled back a bit, which it’s believed is because they were trying to get a look at other players. Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com had some comments from Price on what it was like to be in the huddle with quarterback Tom Brady after the team’s second practice session.
“You get into the huddle and he calls a play; obviously he’s been here for a while and he knows what he’s doing. You just have to zone in and listen to him,” he said. “After the ball is snapped it’s just football — go out and play catch.”
After a practice back on June 16th Reiss reports that Price walked off the field with head coach Bill Belichick, who told him to keep his head in the playbook.
“It’s a good start, but I have a long way to go. There is nothing easy to learn out here,” said Price. “I don’t know as much as I should know yet, but I’m getting to that point. I’m just learning gradually every day.”
Jennifer Toland of the Worcester Telegram reports that Price feels that the transition into the NFL has been a challenge, and is more complex than what he faced in college – but the veterans have been helpful.
“This is more complex than college,” Price said. “There’s a lot more to learn, and I want to learn as much as possible. I was talking to (Patten and Holt) about little things, details and nuances of the position. They have a lot they can teach me.”
Farley had more on those comments:
“This (system) is a lot (more) complex,” Price said. “Compared to our playbook at Ohio, this is a lot more stuff to learn. This is the professional level so obviously it’s going to be tougher than college. So (you) take it all in stride and learn as much as possible.
Reiss also said that Price plans to stay in Foxborough for most of the time leading up to training camp.
Price is already under contract with New England, with the Providence Journal reporting the rookie signed a four-year deal worth $3.35 million back on May 25th.