FOXBORO -- This is a big year for Phillip Dorsett, and he knows it.
The wide receiver is entering his third year with the team, and given the current depth chart at the position, he has a real chance to be the No. 2 wide out behind Julian Edelman. Except now with Edelman on NFI to open training camp, Dorsett is the leader of the group with the most experience.
Edelman took Dorsett aside and spoke to him ahead of camp where he's expected to miss at least three weeks due to a thumb injury.
"Jules is our leader. We know that," Dorsett said after practice Thursday. "We told him we’re going to have to step up for him. He talked to me. He told me to lead the group while he’s gone. That’s what I’m trying to do. Go out here and try and pick each other up and make sure we’re getting better every day. That is really what we can focus on right now.”
Dorsett was very reliable for Tom Brady last year, but for whatever reason only finished the year with 32 receptions for 290 yards and three touchdowns.
"Nothing changes," he said. "Just go in with the same mindset every day. Just go in and try to work hard, have fun and just play good football. Do what you're told. Try to create a role for yourself and that’s what it is. I come up with the same mindset every day no matter what happens, no matter who’s out here.
"At the end of the day, just try to lead the group. That’s what I’m trying to do, trying to evolve this year."
Given his experience in the system and with Brady, this seems like the year for him to really break out as a player given what his talent appears to be.
"I feel like I keep growing every day. whether it’s just coming out here doing all the little things right, studying the playbook and applying it to the field, I keep growing," he said. "I feel like this offense fits me and I’m going to do everything I can to keep trying to get better every day."