FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- When it comes to harsh critiques, New England Patriots tight end Dwayne Allen pulls no punches. Dissecting his first five games with the team Tuesday, he said simply, "I certainly haven't played up to my potential."
Allen was one of a handful of players who drew larger media crowds on Tuesday as the Patriots had an extra practice in preparation for Sunday's road game against the New York Jets.
He was asked some direct questions about his production, as he has been targeted six times and doesn't have a reception this season. He's contributed most as a blocker.
"It's kind of hard. The role that I'm in right now, I don't get as many passing opportunities, but that's part of the game. You own up to your role, you embrace it, and you continue to get better. It's all about the team winning at the end of the day," he said.
Allen acknowledged that "a lot goes into every offense, especially this one" with the Patriots. Specifically, he said, "The non-verbal communication between quarterback and receivers, certain things Tom [Brady] expects, when you're not able to execute those things, you're not out there as much."
The 6-foot-3, 265-pound Allen was out there for a season-high 50 snaps in Thursday's win over the Buccaneers, as he was the primary option to step in for the injured Rob Gronkowski. The week before, he was only on the field for nine offensive snaps. On the season, he's played 149 of 365 offensive snaps (40.8 percent).
He described his approach as straight-forward: "It's one of those things where I go out to practice every week, and continue to prepare, and continue to improve week in and week out."