However, towards the latter end of the campaign Hightower began flourish making several plays, including an interception of Andrew Luck in his side's divisional round playoff win over the Indianapolis Colts.
"The thing that I want to work on probably the most is just having a lot more fun," Hightower told reporters.
"Those last couple games of the season, whenever I got a lot more comfortable and relaxed, I was just having fun, and I played a lot better.
"So going out, playing stress free, and [not] worrying about things, I feel like that will elevate my play a lot more."
Hightower recorded 97 tackles and one sack for the Patriots in the 2013 regular season.