It’s been a rough start for newcomer Dwayne Allen, with the tight end having seemingly struggling through a difficult time getting acclimated to the offense here in New England.
Through six games he’s been targeted six times, with the veteran so far having failed to connect with Tom Brady after not yet making his first reception with his new football team.
He saw his offensive snap count dip to just nine plays against the Panthers three weeks ago and then saw it spike to fifty during their Thursday night game against the Buccaneers with teammate Rob Gronkowski sidelined due to an injury.
With Gronkowski back in action Sunday against the Jets, Allen was in on just six plays in another limited outing, leaving some to wonder what the future might hold for a player who has yet to establish a role for himself in this offense.
However, while his critics only see what he does on game days, his teammates see him on a daily basis in the locker room and get a first-hand look of the work he continues to put in. Gronkowski told reporters on Wednesday that Allen’s work ethic hasn’t wavered, and he believes that it might not be long before we see big things from his fellow tight end.
“Dwayne’s been a great teammate,” said Gronkowski. “He’s a great guy and he comes out and works every single day, works his tail off, works his butt off, and I feel like he’s going to turn the corner soon. He’s right around the corner.”
It’s an interesting statement given that his progress to this point has certainly been a little slower than some had expected. But clearly he’s still here and both Bill Belichick and his teammates know him better than anyone, which hopefully means that he hasn’t had his breakthrough moment just yet.
For now, Gronk believes in Allen, and enjoys having him around.
“He’s been working hard,” said Gronkowski. “He’s been grinding and he’s a great guy. I love having him out there with me.”