As a number one corner throughout his six year career, Aqib Talib has seen his share of quality NFL receivers. Keeping that in mind, it's hard not to get excited hearing his thoughts on rookie receivers Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins. Per Mike Reiss/ESPN Boston:
"[Dobson's] got good releases off the line," Talib told reporters on Sunday. "That's what I think he does real good. Him, KT [Thompkins], they're both pretty good at releasing off the line. I don't know what it is, speed, quickness, strength. You either got it or you don't. They got it."This quote came immediately following practice Sunday morning and is noteworthy for a few reasons. One is the fact that Dobson (6'3", 200 lbs) and Thompkins (6'1", 195 lbs) are bigger receivers. Using that size and physicality to get off the line against press coverage is an important skill set for any receiver. Getting open against press coverage is often cited as one of the biggest adjustments receivers have to make as they transition from college to the pros. Sunday also marked the first time the Patriots practiced in full pads this training camp. Any workout in pads will naturally be more physical than one in "shells".
Talib's comments also hint at the instinctual nature of the receiver position. Even in a complex offensive system like New England's, the vast majority of a receiver's duties are physical and instinctual. As Talib said, some guys have a natural knack for getting open and some guys don't. The fact that Dobson and Thompkins do bodes well for their NFL futures as well as the Patriots offense in 2013.