How has Price tried to make up the difference? Well, he explained to me today that he would stay after practice in college to work on the route tree, and spend extra time in the film room studying NFL route combinations and coverages and concepts as a collegian, under the watchful eye of receivers coach Dwayne Dixon.
“Coach Dixon coached at Florida, he coached Jabar Gaffney, he coached some great guys and he played in the league,” Price said. “He had a ton of knowledge and he gave me some insight, things to expect when I got to the next level and tried to prepare me for that.”
The big thing, then, became being able to get on the board and apply that knowledge as he met with NFL teams over the last few months.
“They wanted to see if I could handle the playbook, handle the schemes, handle the formations I was gonna be faced with at the NFL level,” Price continued. “I had to show them my knowledge, showing them routes, coverages, and what I knew. My knowledge of the game helped me get to this point.”
One thing the Patriots should be getting is a beast of a blocker at the position.
In an option offense, blocking on the perimeter is vital, and receivers need to be proficient in that area. So Price is.
“We had to do it,” Price said. “Coach Solich is a physical type of coach, coming from Nebraska and running the option. So when I first got to OU, that’s what you did. If you weren’t blocking, you weren’t on the field. That’s how you got on the field first.”
Overall, this rookie’s an interesting one.
Really, he’s never had the chance to prove what he can do as a receiver, because of the offenses he’s played in. So now the shackles are off.
But Price’s intent on keeping where he came from prescient in his mind, and never losing the bite that going to OU — and only having offers from MAC schools, plus Cincinnati and Indiana, coming out of high school — gave him.
“The Senior Bowl, the combine, workouts, each and every time I went out there to perform, I had to play with a chip on my shoulder, with something to prove,” Price said. “Coming from a small school, they aren’t going to take you seriously all the time. So you have to go out there and prove it.”