“It helps us in all kind of ways,” Thompkins said. “It actually gives us just the point of view of how he wants things done and actually helps us.”
Dobson also made a big catch on the winning 70-yard drive that began with the Patriots having just 73 seconds and no timeouts left. With 35 seconds remaining, he got out of bounds to stop the clock after a 6-yard reception gave the Patriots a second-and-4 at the Saints 26.
“It certainly wouldn’t have been worth it to pick up 5 yards and get tackled inbounds,” coach Bill Belichick said. “So getting out of bounds was really the key play there.”
Dobson, a standout at Marshall, also has learned from those Tuesday sessions with Brady, a 14-year veteran and two-time NFL MVP.
“We might watch a couple of games just by ourselves, just getting the communication right,” Dobson said.
Having worked overtime to learn the Patriots’ complex system gives Dobson great appreciation for what Austin Collie, making his Patriots debut, was able to contribute. He entered late in the game and made two catches — one a 9-yard gain on a fourth-and-4 — on the winning drive.
“Just for him to come in that quick and get a grasp of the offense, it’s great because I know how hard it is,” Dobson said. “I’ve been through the transition. It’s definitely a tough thing to do.”
Dobson led the Patriots with six catches on Sunday and has 19 for the season with one touchdown. Thompkins caught three passes and has 21 receptions and four touchdowns for the year.
The last was the biggest, and he wasn’t surprised he was open.
“I thought I was open a couple of plays before that,” Thompkins said.
And then the player who no team drafted was in the spotlight of an exciting victory.