The last time that the New England Patriots took an undrafted rookie free agent runningback from Ole' Miss, it's pretty safe to say it panned out for them. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who was a nobody coming into the league, quickly established his name as one of the most reliable runners in the league.
During his four years in New England, 'The Law Firm' carried the ball 510 times and racked up 2,064 yards and 29 touchdowns. And in those four seasons, BJGE never put the ball on the ground once. So when Green-Ellis decided to cash in and sign with the Bengals, you can't fault the Patriots for sticking to the print and to trying to recreate him. That's exactly what they will try to do with UDFA Brandon Bolden.
Bolden, who also went to Ole' Miss, has drawn comparisons to Green-Ellis in terms of his physical build and running style. Despite all of the similarities they both have in their path to the NFL, Bolden is interested in making a name for himself in New England.
"Ben was at Ole Miss the [two] years before I was there; he was walking out the door as I was coming in. He's a great guy, a great running back. I watched a lot of film on him," Bolden said of Green Ellis, who had 2.064 rushing yards (including 1,008 in 2010) in 53 career games with the Patriots.
"[But] honestly, I haven't paid much attention to it. Ben did what he did because that's what Ben does. And I'm coming in trying to make it as he did."
FRANCIS-BELICHICK FRIENDSHIP COULD BE TESTED
Have you ever heard the phrase "You should be nice to your coworker, because he could end up being your boss one day"? Well that is just the situation that Justin Francis and Steve Belichick have found themselves in.
Just days after the Patriots announced the signing of the former Rutgers defensive end, they announced that Steve Belichick, son of Bill, will be joining the team's coaching staff as a coaching assistant. Belichick, who also went to Rutgers, played football and was in many classes with Francis in college. For Francis, viewing his good college friend as one of his bosses will be an adjustment, but he's ready for it.
"It's kind of weird," looking at the younger Belichick as a coach instead of a teammate. "But like I said, he's a good friend. I know he's never going to direct me down the wrong path. I take that and I keep that. I'll always respect him. I respect his job. I respect him as a friend as well.
"We haven't really sat down and got into anything like that. He'll give me a wink and keep my spirits up - ‘Hey, let's work.' And I'll tell him and give him a nod like, ‘Let's work.' Just keeping my spirits up. I'm keeping his spirits up. We know we're going to go for a tit-for-tat thing."
HERMAN LOOKS TO PICK BRAINS OF PATRIOT TE DUO
Coming out of college into the NFL, being brought onto a team that already has talent at your position can be a very challenging thing. But there can also be advantages to it. That's really what life is like right now for new Patriots tight end Brad Herman.
Herman, who was signed by the team as a undrafted rookie free agent out of Iowa, will join Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and Daniel Fells as the tight ends on the Patriots roster. While the odds for making the team are against Herman, he's just excited to have the opportunity to learn from the best tight end duo the league has to offer in Gronkowski and Hernandez.
"It was just a great situation for me," Herman told reporters in his first appearance in front of the microphone as a pro.
"They're great tight ends. [I] couldn't learn from a better group of guys, and I can just do my part to help with the team's success."