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Hybrid Dickerson hopes to seize chance

Mike Reiss/ESPN Boston

Dorin Dickerson talks to reporters at his locker Wednesday at Gillette Stadium.FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – When describing his style of play this morning, Dorin Dickerson said he’s a “hybrid-type guy, maybe more like a Hernandez.”

The Patriots would naturally be thrilled if he eventually contributed like Aaron Hernandez.

The 6-foot-2, 227-pound Dickerson was officially added to the practice squad Wednesday, and he’ll wear Troy Brown’s old No. 80. He adds depth behind Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski at tight end, a position which has become a crucial part of the team’s offense as the majority of plays are run with multiple tight ends on the field.

“Whatever they ask me to do, I’ll do it,” the second-year man from the University of Pittsburgh said. “I’m hoping to take advantage of this opportunity. It’s a good one.”

Dickerson hasn’t been with a team since the Steelers gave him an injury settlement Sept. 20. He had signed with the Steelers' practice squad Sept. 12, so his stay in Pittsburgh was brief.

“I had a little time off with a little injury I had. I had a messed up thumb, a ligament in my thumb, and had to get it fixed,” he explained. “I’ve just been rehabbing and getting back to football.”

Dickerson, who said he returned to full health about two weeks ago, entered the NFL as a seventh-round draft choice of the Texans in 2010. He was with the Texans through 2011 training camp.

“I was strictly a receiver; they moved me out to receiver and tried transitioning me to that. It didn’t go so well,” he said. “It is what it is. You just keep playing through it.”

In the brief time he was with the Steelers, Dickerson was back in an H-back/tight end type role, “something I’m a lot more suited as,” he said.

Dickerson’s lone workout since being let go by the Steelers was here in New England, coming late last week. The time away from football was tough.

“It was a lot mental,” he said. “You just have to get through it, stay positive, and good things will happen, hopefully with this opportunity.”