Phillip Dorsett is moving from catching passes thrown by the greatest quarterback ever, to running routes for one of the greatest of his generation.
Their generations overlap. In fact, the former (Tom Brady) stole the headlines of this offseason for his move from New England to Tampa. Dorsett is leaving the Northeast for the Pacific Northwest, signing with the Seahawks after three seasons with the Patriots.
A former first-round pick of the Colts, Dorsett hasn’t lived up to such expectations. He has a new chance to carve out a potentially productive role in Seattle’s receiving corps alongside young standouts Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf.
And as with all things in the NFL, it all comes back to and starts with the quarterback. It’s hard to say no to a contract offer from a team featuring Russell Wilson behind center.
"I personally believe he’s the best deep-ball thrower in the NFL," Dorsett said of Wilson during an interview on 950 KJR. "You can see it week in and week out with DK and Tyler. I’ve been sitting back taking advantage of the NFL Game Pass, it’s free, so I’ve been watching games and you can see it."
Dorsett didn’t put up gaudy numbers in New England, but he said he picked up valuable lessons on how to become a better-rounded receiver. He’s not just a burner, even with his 4.3 speed, which he said he "absolutely" still has at 27 years old.
"Obviously, I love running deep routes, I love catching balls, but I can actually run routes inside and outside," Dorsett said. "That’s one thing I definitely did learn in New England: You have to be flexible. I just didn’t want to get put in a box where it’s like, ‘oh he just lines up outside and runs straight.’ No, I can actually run the deep curls, the outs, the comebacks, the digs. I can run those routes. I can’t wait to go out there and show it."
Dorsett should receive opportunities to prove that in Seattle, where he’ll get to team with his 2015 Senior Bowl teammate Lockett. Dorsett will also reunite with former Colts offensive assistant (quarterbacks coach) Brian Schottenheimer, who is the offensive coordinator in Seattle.
Familiarity reigns for Dorsett, who said he was sold on the job by Pete Carroll telling him the Seahawks will win, and they’ll have fun doing it. It sure would be fun for Dorsett to have a career year in terms of yards following a 2019 season in which he set a career-high in touchdowns with five. He’ll have an excellent passer — one who was pulling off feats of greatness and took an early lead in the MVP race before Lamar Jackson blazed past the rest of the league — to help him get there.
"He’s a magician," Dorsett said of Wilson. "I feel like, honestly, I don’t think he gets as much credit as he deserves. He’s a great quarterback. … He can make every throw and it’s a blessing that I get to play with him. I can’t wait to get there and work with him."
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