Report: Patriots Worked Out Former Steelers Terry Hawthorne And Reggie Dunn On Tuesday

According to Mike Reiss of, the New England Patriots worked out former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Terry Hawthorne and wide receiver Reggie Dunn on Tuesday.

Hawthorne was drafted by the Steelers in the fifth-round this past April out of Illinois, but a knee injury forced him to miss all of the offseason program and most of training camp. Once healthy, Hawthorne played in the final two preseason games, but his play on defense and special teams was evidently not good enough to warrant keeping him on the 53 man roster. In fact, the Steelers didn’t even sign him to the their practice squad, so defensive backs coach Carnell Lake must have thought the young cornerback didn’t have much upside to him.

Dunn was originally signed as an undrafted free agent out of Utah. While he has blazing speed, he doesn’t have much upside as a wide receiver. While Dunn was fine as a kick returner, he didn’t show reliable enough hands as a punt returner during the preseason. Not only did he fail to catch a few punts cleanly, his decision to return a punt deep in the Steelers end in the preseason finale that resulted in a safety showed poor judgment on his part. He was trying to make a play and it backfired on him.

The Patriots are really juggling the bottom end of their roster right now and are leaving no stone unturned. We will have to wait and see if either player is signed over the course of the next few days.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    I find the Hawthorne thing confusing. I hope the FO is right on this one.

  • Craig Ressler

    Apparently they thought he had upside when they drafted him in the 5th round. In addition, not sure how you can miss all of the offseason program and most of training camp and then draw the conclusion that “the young cornerback didn’t have much upside to him.” Curious to see what the Patriots think. They obviously are a franchise that does a good job of evaluating talent too. If they sign him I will personally question Steelers decision not even sign him to the practice squad. Honestly, if the Pats don’t sign him, I will feel better about the Steelers cutting him and opting not to sign him.

  • falconsaftey43

    I wouldn’t say that NE does a good job evaluating talent, especially at DB. They have had countless draft busts on DBs and quite a few on WRs.

  • Menace_501

    Have to start wondering how good his work ethic really was and if that was why he didn’t play in first two games

  • Craig Ressler

    If you want to be honest, the Pats have hit and missed at the CB position just like the Steelers. And for the most part NE does do a good job evaluating talent. Otherwise they wouldn’t be in the playoffs every year. Yes, they have Brady but overall they have a above average team every year and like the Steelers do a lot of their building through the draft based on their talent evaluation.

  • Mikey Greensheets

    I also wonder about charge tee concerns. We are not in the locker room and don’t know these guys and what they are about. That’s the only thing that makes sense to me.

  • Mikey Greensheets

    That was charecter concerns. Stupid phone!

  • Matthew Marczi

    I’ve read that he lacks a professional attitude.

  • falconsaftey43

    I perceived the Steelers as better DB drafters than the Patriots so I looked into it. This is by no means a definitive answer, but interesting none the less.

    2007-2013 Drafts.

    Total DBs, Avg Draft Rd, Players on Teams, Starters

    Patriots: 14, 3.4, 9, 4

    Steelers: 10, 4.7, 7, 3

    Percentage wise:

    % Players on Teams, % Starters

    Patriots: 64%, 28%

    Steelers: 70%, 30%

    (Note Steelers drafted Joe Burnett who is a starter in CFL, but I’m counting him as not on a team it’s not the NFL, Hawethorne also counting as not on a team)

    Patriots have picked 4 more DBs and over last 7 drafts and only got 1 more “starting” quality player and 2 more that made NFL rosters. The Steelers are hitting on slightly higher percentages while drafting an average of 1.3 rounds later.

    Patriots expended 7 picks in the first two rounds getting 3 starters, 2 on rosters and 2 bust outs with those picks.

    Steelers spend no picks in the first two rounds.
    Take this for what you will, but at the very least, I don’t think you can call the Patriots better DB evaluators.

  • Hal Brewster

    I find this very interesting. I’m curious. Where have you read this? I’ve seen no mention of his attitude.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Jim Wexell mentioned it over at Steel City Insider, which is a subsciber website (I consider it worth it, personally). Haven’t seen it mentioned by anybody else, but then I’ve never seen anybody else ever even mention speaking to Hawthorne.

  • Jefferson_St_Joe

    The Patriots work out virtually everyone without a job. They have several players in every Tuesday, most of whom never play another down in the NFL. Some they sign, but mostly they are just building a database in case they have a need down the road or they face that player at some point.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Nice post.

  • Kolie Oak

    I agree with that assessment. Watching the panther game, I noticed Hawthorne carrying himself in a “I’m too good” kind of way.
    Maybe I was reading too much into his body language, but that’s what I saw…

  • steeltown


  • John Hinton

    Thanks for this update as it sheds some light on the Hawthorne mystery.

  • Chris Ranieri

    I love how the FO is no-nonsense with players. Of course it is just speculation that Hawthorne’s attitude contributed to his release, it still goes to show (Chris Rainey) they don’t tolerate boneheads.

    I am disappointed that Justin Brown and Terry Hawthorne are not turning out to be the professionals we had hoped. Hopefully JB develops on the practice squad.

  • Craig Ressler

    I never said that they were better DB elevators, I simply stated that they are good elevators of talent. Those percentages tell me that while both teams hit and miss both teams are very comparable in evaluating talent. Thinks for proving my point.

  • George Siegel

    They may not have drawn the conclusion that he didn’t have much upside, they may have drawn the conclusion that they liked the other guys they have more than they liked him. Even if he catches on somewhere else, it doesn’t mean that they were wrong.

  • falconsaftey43

    Wasn’t saying that’s what you were saying, the conversation just made me want to look into it more.
    I guess you can take it that way, they have about the same success rate. But, I see it more as the Steelers are able to attain that same success rate with considerably later picks, so they have to do a better job evaluating the players as the top end talent isn’t available to pick from. It’s harder to find a good player in the 4th than the 1st simply because the players everyone else thought were good have been picked already. You have to really look to find the talent.
    Regardless, don’t think anyone should be too upset if the Patriots sign a 5th round corner we decided to cut, especially considering the Patriots lack a lot of depth right now (14 rookies on their roster). 3 years from now if he is a stud, then get upset.