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New England Patriots Links 5/09/11 - Patriots RB Shane Vereen 'Strong, Fast, Explosive'

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Karen Guregian notes the Patriots made it clear in the draft that the running back by committee approach will continue, and their selection of Cal's Shane Vereen will serve to strengthen it.

Ron Gould, Cal’s associate head coach/running game coordinator, cautions Patriots fans not to be so quick to put the third-down back label on the second-round pick. He just may turn out to be a bigger contributor. Gould believes Vereen has the ability to play all three downs. It’s just a matter of how the Patriots choose to deploy him.

"He’s big enough, strong enough, fast enough, and explosive enough to run between the tackles," Gould told the Herald last week. "He’s a very good pass protector. He’s also a guy who has hands like a wide receiver. So I see him as an every-down guy."

"I compare him to the guy that just went into the Hall of Fame, Marshall Faulk, because of his ability, his explosion, his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. If you’ve watched any film on us, he’s caught go-routes, hitches, hitch-and-goes. He’s done it all for us. He has the ability to spread out as a wide out, and catch balls out in space. He also has the ability to catch balls out of the backfield. And that’s second to none."

"That’s the thing that separates him in my opinion. He can block protections," Gould said. "So, as complex as the NFL schemes are, he will not have a problem adjusting to them. He also understands run-blocking schemes, which a lot of backs don’t understand. A lot of backs don’t understand protection. I was very blessed. This young man really embraced that side of football. Most runners just want to run."

"Never put doubt in this young man. If people say what he can’t do, he’ll definitely prove them wrong," Gould said. "Because of his passion, he has this great spirit about him. He has a tremendous amount of energy he brings to the table. He’s a guy that wants to lead by example. He’s also a vocal guy. So if something’s not right, he’s going to say it’s not right. I just love the kid. I love him as a son. He’ll definitely do well in the NFL."

Mike Reiss recaps three things that were learned from watching Patriots All-Access Friday night:

Belichick held out for a 2012 second-round pick for top pick of 2011 second round. Leading into the draft, there was a lot of discussion about how the top pick of the second round would be desired by other clubs in a trade. But the footage shows Belichick holding out for a 2012 second-round pick in any swap, and Belichick is shown hanging up the phone several times. From Peter King's Sports Illustrated piece, it is known that one team the Patriots were talking to at the time was the San Francisco 49ers.

Ernie Adams' role as trusted confidant. Bill Belichick's longtime friend going back to their days at Phillips Andover Academy, Ernie Adams, is the team's football research director. When trades were discussed, Adams was seen writing them on the board as a key person in the draft room. Even in just a few minutes of draft footage, it's easy to see how much Belichick trusts and values Adams' opinion. It was Adams, after a deal couldn't be struck for the No. 33 pick, who looked at Belichick and said "Let's pick him" in reference to cornerback Ras-I Dowling.

Al Groh connection with Ras-I Dowling pick. Director of player personnel Nick Caserio talked about how the Patriots felt good about the pick of Ras-I Dowling at the top of the second round, and part of that was from a visit with former Virginia coach Al Groh. Patriots coach Bill Belichick has a long history from Groh, as both were assistants together under Bill Parcells. Caserio added that preparations for the 2012 draft are already underway.




  • Peter King (SI Magazine) Weirdest Draft ever.
  • Peter King (SI) MMQB: Tennessee has a lot riding on the improvement of Jake Locker.
  • Gregg Rosenthal (ProFootballTalk) Rookies leave Kevin Faulk, Sammy Morris with uncertain futures.
  • Fox Sports Slideshow: Best NFL longshot players and teams to reach stardom. Patriots included.
  • Wes Bunting (Nat'l Football Post) 2011 NFP All-Rookie team projections.
  • Dan Pompei (Nat'l Football Post) NFP Sunday Blitz: The Mario Williams experiment, a team of the best undrafteds, and things I didn't used to know.
  • ESPN Report: Teams tamper with free agents.
  • John Clayton (ESPN) Time-sensitive issue: Undrafted FAs.
  • Don Banks (SI) Lockout leaves undrafted prospects waiting for futures in the NFL to begin.
  • Garry Smits (Florida Times-Union) Tim Tebow's charity golf event attracts Gators, Seminoles, NFL stars. Brandon Spikes and Fred Taylor participated.
  • Bryan Burwell (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) Athletes have a right to speak out.
  • Mike Freeman (CBS Sports) Rash of arrests troubling trend; lockout factor?
  • Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) League, players see connection between lockout and lockup.
  • John Glennon (The Tennessean) Titans coach, GM answer questions from season-ticket holders.  Randy Moss won't be back.