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New England Patriots Links 7/25/12 - A Slimmer, Trimmer Wilfork Excited For Camp

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<em>Not exactly 'svelte' in this photo, Big Vince has apparently slimmed down a bit for the start of camp</em>.
Not exactly 'svelte' in this photo, Big Vince has apparently slimmed down a bit for the start of camp.

Jeff Howe reports Wilfork didn’t want to divulge any secrets just yet, but let’s just say he’s looking good heading into camp.

"You’re always excited for something you love," Wilfork told me with regard to getting back to work for the start of training camp. "I’m always excited to get back started. I’m pretty sure that’ll go away in a couple days once you start practicing. But it’s here. If you don’t like it, you should get out of the game. I’m always excited to start it up, get it going, see my teammates, and try and start off on the right foot. And I think that’s the goal. Start off, take it day by day, and see where we can go. Get out of camp healthy, hopefully we’ll be healthy coming out of camp, and start the season off right."

Tom E. Curran examines the Running back position at the start of Camp.

Summary: The dependability of BenJarvus Green-Ellis may be missed but the fact he'd become a down-on-first-contact, 3.7 YPC back in 2011 was often overlooked. The Patriots don't have a clear-cut replacement for Green-Ellis but Ridley, Vereen or Addai should bring equal value. Who will be the short-yardage and goal-line back and who can be relied upon for positive yards in clock-milking situations? That's the question. I'd bet on Ridley. He's more solidly built than Vereen and has excellent burst. Vereen is an unknown entity at this level. Whatever Addai brings will be a bonus but he's probably not expected to be the lead guy. Danny Woodhead was the Patriots best offensive player in the Super Bowl aside from Brady. The collection of fullbacks - Fiametta, Kettani and Larsen - is intriguing but I'm not sure yet what wrinkle they address. Keep an eye on Brandon Bolden. He's an undrafted rookie out of Ole Miss like Green-Ellis was. He had a senior year marred by injury but he's 5-11, 222 and a thick, hard runner who has soft hands and can play special teams.