The 2013 season ended in defeat for the New England Patriots, and now the team will be evaluating their roster as the draft and free agency are quickly approaching. Over the course of the next few weeks, PatsPulpit will take a look at each key player and review their performance, as well as their role on the Patriots moving forward.
Continuing the series, let's take a look at running back Shane Vereen.
Shane Vereen, RB
The statistics to the right are quite impressive, but what makes them more remarkable is that Shane Vereen played in only eight games this season. When healthy, Vereen was very effective, averaging about 11 touches and 80 yards per game.
But there were some sore spots throughout the season. For one, he got injured once again and missed two months of the season. Durability has been a concern for Vereen going back to his college career, and he has yet to play a full season with the Patriots.
Drops were also an issue, especially on wheel routes coming out of the backfield. Vereen might be far more dynamic than Kevin Faulk or Danny Woodhead, but they were both much more reliable.
However, Vereen is such a dynamic player and there's no denying he improved New England's offense, even if he didn't record a catch. If he played wide receiver full time, he'd probably make a pretty good slot receiver. His versatility presents problems for defenses, and the Patriots were able to take advantage of it.
The 2014/15 season will be an important one for Shane Vereen, because he must prove that he can stay healthy. The drops are forgivable considering he makes big plays more often than not, but if he can't stay on the field, he'll never become the player that he can be. With that said, he gets a C+ from me, only because he made an impact for half the season.