Patriots Coffee Talk 2/22: Is BenJarvus Green-Ellis the Running Back of the Future?

Welcome to Patriots Coffee Talk!  This is going to be an experimental feature that will go up each weekday morning at 6:00 AM.  Topics will have a wide range, but will bring up relevant Patriots issues and its goal will be to spark debate. So yap away!

Today's question will once again be pretty straight forward.  As you probably know, the Patriots have undergone a lot of turnover at the running back position in the past year or so.  2009 starting running back Laurence Maroney was traded at the start of the season, and the projected 2010 starter, Fred Taylor, was injured just two weeks into the season.

This left 2008 undrafted free agent BenJarvus Green-Ellis as the team's primary running back. Green-Ellis, who is also known by 'Benny,' 'BGJE,' or the 'Law Firm,' surpassed the 1,000 yard mark on the year, rushing for 13 touchdowns with a 4.4 yard per carry average.  Based on statistics alone, Green-Ellis had the most productive season for a Patriots running back since Corey Dillon in 2004.

Personally, I'm a fan of Green-Ellis' style.  He doesn't have top-end speed or athleticism, but he does the dirty work and gets the job done.  He keep his pad level low, finds the hole quickly without hesitating, and drives his legs to pick up the extra yards.

Green-Ellis, based on the pre-2010 CBA rules, would be a restricted free agent this offseason.  My guess is that the Patriots would place a 1st round tender on him.  For today's coffee talk, the question is simple: is BenJarvus Green-Ellis the Patriots' running back of the future?  Will he be the Patriots' future back beyond 2011?

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