New England Patriots Links 9/07/11 - 53-Man Roster Still In Flux

It's okay if the opposing defenses overlook BenJarvus Green-Ellis but Pats fans know his worth.

Bill O'Brien takes time to praise BenJarvus Green-Ellis.

"[BenJarvus] is a great story in my mind. I'll speak for myself; I'm not looking to replace him. He's a steady guy [and] he's a smart guy. He came in here as an undrafted guy and made the football team, and every year he has gotten better. As with everybody at that position, I think they've improved the whole training camp, but as it relates to Benny, he has done a better job of coming in here and catching the ball, and doing some of the things we've asked him to get better at and he does that every year. Whatever you ask him to do he tries to improve on it, and he's a good guy to have on the football team as is [Danny Woodhead], as is Kevin [Faulk], obviously, [Stevan] Ridley, and [Shane] Vereen. So that's a good mixture of guys, and we're happy with Benny as we usually are."

"Right in the beginning as it related to Benny I was always impressed with his demeanor, his steadiness and his intelligence playing running back in our system. I could really say the same about every guy. Kevin [Faulk] obviously [is] a very, very smart guy, and a very smart football player [and] Benny's in that category, and Woodhead. These guys come in and we ask them to do a whole lot of things, and Benny obviously was working on his consistency when he first came here, but he never changed his demeanor, and the way he picked up our offense was impressive to me."

Bill Belichick is confident in what Deion Branch brings to the team, and his thoughts on Brandon Spikes after he missed some of Training Camp.

"I think Deion [Branch] has had a pretty good camp – [he] hasn't missed any time at all and that was something he wasn't able to do last year. We had to manage him a little bit in practice but he was, I think, in good condition. He took certainly his share of reps out there in training camp and I thought he looked good doing it. I think he's in position, based on what I've seen so far and what he has done in training camp and preseason, I think he's ready to have a good year. [He] works hard, gives us good leadership at that position, very smart player, instinctive player, knows what to do, does the right thing and is very dependable. I think everybody in the organization feels good about counting on Deion. He's a very consistent guy every day. Every time the ball is snapped he almost always does the right thing, does it the way you want him to do it. We all have a lot of confidence in Deion."

"I thought Brandon [Spikes] got off to a good start in preseason and then he missed some time and so he's a little behind with the time that he missed, but he's back on the field now and working hard on getting back – his conditioning and all his timing and all those things. We'll see how quickly he can get back to where he was at a few weeks ago. It's unfortunate that he missed a little bit of time because he was doing well, but he's back out there now and looks like he's doing OK now. We'll see how quickly he can get back up to that level, that speed."

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