- Field Yates, ESPN Insider
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When Josh McDaniels returned to the Patriots in January of 2012, many surmised he'd reincorporate a steady dose of two back offensive sets when he re-assumed the title of offensive coordinator.
Signing free agents Spencer Larsen and Tony Fiammetta, both fullbacks, further suggested the team would lean more heavily on two back sets last season, but neither was on the active roster, and, for the most part, the Patriots steered away from conventional running back/fullback pairings in the backfield.
James Develin, who spent some time on the active roster in 2012, is nominally a fullback, but his greatest chance of making the active roster is likely on special teams, as was alluded to by Mike Rodak in this morning's Bubble Watch.
Some have suggested that the Patriots should slow things down in light of the offensive turnover this offseason (which often correlates with more fullback sets), but the team actually seems more likely to continue to push the tempo and dictate defensive personnel, a catalyst behind last year's NFL-leading offense.
Develin actually spent some time working with the tight ends in offseason workouts, which may be where he works more during camp.
Be it fullback or tight end, both Develin and others who offer a similar skill-set (undrafted rookie free agent Ben Bartholemew comes to mind) will seemingly have to make an impact in the kicking game to carve a consistent role on the active roster.