Today's special, tomorrow's star
October, 13, 2011
Running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis might never have ascended to the Patriots' primary ball carrier if he hadn't impressed Bill Belichick with his work on special teams:
Elsa/Getty ImagesBenJarvus Green-Ellis might not have reached the field as a Patriots running back if he hadn't worked his way into the kicking game, according to coach Bill Belichick.
SPECIAL TEAMS LEADS TO BIGGER THINGS
Since the start of the 2010 season, no running back in the NFL has more rushing touchdowns than New England's BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Considering the talent at that position across the league, it's a remarkable stat, but even more so when you consider how far the undrafted Green-Ellis has come in four seasons with the Patriots.
So what did Patriots coach Bill Belichick peg as the biggest area of improvement for Green-Ellis?
"Special teams," said Belichick, leaving reporters a bit dumbfounded by the suggestion. After all, Green-Ellis has played sparingly on special teams since becoming the Patriots' primary ball carrier the past two seasons.
"He didn't do much [special teams] in college and I didn't think he was really very good at it," explained Belichick. "It's probably one of the reasons why he didn't initially make our team."
Green-Ellis went undrafted out of Mississippi and despite landing with the Patriots, he was released as part of final cutdowns before the start of the 2008 campaign. Green-Ellis was inked to the team's practice squad and it might have ultimately been his ability to work his way into the kicking game that opened doors for a larger role.
Hop HERE to read the Chris Forsberg's full story.
[Your turn: Who's the next special teams standout that could ascend to a bigger role for the Patriots down the line? Sound off in the comments.]