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Daily training camp overreaction: Kamar Aiken ready to dominate all comers

Posted by Erik Frenz  July 28, 2013 02:21 PM

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — If you only watched the first three days of training camp, you might think wide receiver Kamar Aiken is primed to become the next big thing.

Among a group of fresh faces and unknown commodities, Aiken has stood out. That might because he's one of the less fresh faces of the group, having joined the practice squad in December 2012 and being activated for the team's Week 15 game against the Jaguars.

"I got a little head start from last year, so it kind of carried over," Aiken said. "I'm good when it comes to picking up on stuff like that, so I don't have no problem when it comes to that."

Aiken is in exclusive company with wide receivers Julian Edelman and Matthew Slater as the only three of the 12 receivers on this year's roster that were also on the roster last season.

Although his experience is not much more than that of the other receivers, it's enough to get the attention of the coaching staff.

"He has some experience last year from the practice squad at the end of the season," head coach Bill Belichick said on Sunday. "But this is his first training camp with the team, and we’ll see how it all goes. He’s got a little bit of an edge experience-wise, but I don’t think that’s overly significant."

The battle for roster spots at receiver is thick, though, and any advantage is one worth taking.

That being said, Aiken thinks his strengths in this competition go beyond just his knowledge of the playbook and a few extra months of experience with the system and the team.

"Just my size and physical-ness and speed," Aiken said of his other advantages. "Just different, I'm a different caliber receiver just for my size and everything, and being able to do different things."

At 6'2" and 215 pounds, Aiken has the kind of size that's been missing from the Patriots depth chart at receiver for the past few years as the team has struggled to find players to win matchups on the outside.

Over the first few days of camp, we've seen him line up both outside and in the slot. He has shown an impressive ability to get off jams and to make catches in traffic. His drops have been few and far between.

That's about as positive a review as a receiver can get at this point.

He knows he still has work to do, though, and right now, he's just trying to make the most of his opportunities -- and it helps that those opportunities are of greater volume with so much turnover at the position, and with a couple of receivers (Julian Edelman and Mark Harrison) on the mend from injuries.

"Yeah, I have an opportunity, I think," Aiken said. "I'm just going to make the best of it -- all the opportunities they do give me and the plays and reps I do get -- just make the best of them and go from there."


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Erik Frenz delivers analysis of the biggest news with the Patriots, including insight into the AFC East and New England's biggest rivals from a Patriots perspective. Erik is an interactive writer who engages his audience in his posts’ comments sections and on Twitter. Readers are encouraged to share their thoughts and ask questions. More »

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