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Indianapolis Colts

Important Year Three Coming For Phillip Dorsett

Intro: Will the third year indeed be the charm for Phillip Dorsett? The young wide receiver looks back on 2016 and why he believes next season will be a good one.


INDIANAPOLIS – The one-dimensional nature that has been associated with Phillip Dorsett's game through two NFL seasons is something wide receivers coach Lee Hull wants to eliminate.

Dorsett's second season in the NFL was quieter than expected, given the opportunities that presented the former first-round pick.

Despite Donte Moncrief's absence for half the year, Dorsett finished 2016 as the team's fifth leading receiver with 33 catches for 528 yards and two touchdowns.

The big play ability from Dorsett was there (averaging a team-best 16.0 yards per catch), but his position coach doesn't want that to be the entire story.

"We are asking him to do some things that he didn't do in college before as far as certain types of routes, not just being a deep threat," Hull said this past season. "We are trying to get him into being an all-around receiver. He's doing a great job and I think he's progressing in the right direction.

"You see that he has good hands. He has caught some difficult balls. It's not about catching the ball. It's about becoming a complete receiver, as far as route running is concerned and all the little details, getting in and out of your break. We want him to be a complete receiver."

Hull said Dorsett "refining his route running" is something that the staff has focused on.

When Moncrief went down in Week Two, the Colts were counting on more from Dorsett.

Instead, the Colts leaned on other pass catching options, with Dorsett catching just 13 balls in the seven games that Moncrief missed during the season (Dorsett played in all but one of the games Moncrief missed in 2016).

Dorsett saw progress in his second NFL season---pointing to his availability (playing 15 games this past year, compared to 11 as a rookie) and strong finish (4 catches for 56 yards in the season finale) as things he can build off going into 2017.

"I definitely want to improve as a player, as a person, mentally, physically," Dorsett says of the upcoming offseason. "I think I got better and fit my goals in my head.

"You just want to go back to the drawing board and get better. I'm definitely looking forward to Year Three."

The 2017 season will be a critical one for Dorsett.

Following next year, the Colts will have a decision to make on whether or not to give Dorsett a team option on his rookie deal. Exercising that option would keep Dorsett in Indianapolis through 2019. If the Colts decide not to, then 2018 would be a contract year for Dorsett.

Coaches often say the third NFL season is when you truly see a player grow into the role that was projected coming out of college.

Dorsett expects that to be the case.

"There's definitely more (coming)," Dorsett says.

"Year Three will be a good one."

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