- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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Fourth-year New England Patriots running back Shane Vereen feels progress has been made through the team’s 10 organized team activities leading into this week’s mandatory minicamp Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
“It’s been successful. Everybody’s kind of getting the feel back for football and just gearing things up for July [and training camp],” Vereen said Saturday afternoon during an appearance on Sirius XM NFL Radio with hosts Zig Fracassi and Alex Marvez.
For Vereen himself, one part that has made this year's OTAs different for him is familiarity. After entering the NFL during the 2011 lockout and not having OTAs, this is the third straight year in which he's been part of them.
“I feel like I’ve experienced quite a bit now and I’ve been through this before, so it’s a little more comfortable on my end,” he said. “Other than that, it all seems the same. We always have the same goal coming in to each OTA, and each season, and that’s to be the best football team we can be.”
Vereen’s appearance on the program was tied to promoting his first-ever football camp, to be held Saturday in California.
“It’s always good to give back, especially to the city that basically raised you, and a place you will always call home. That’s Valencia to me, and having it at my old high school, that’s also pretty cool. I’m happy to be in the position where I can do these type of things,” he said.
Some more soundbites from Vereen:
On quarterback Tom Brady. “I don’t think motivation ever decreases in his mind. I think each year he comes back more and more hungry -- always wanting to compete. I’ve said it time and time again, he is easily the most competitive teammate I’ve ever had.”
On rookie running back James White. “James is a good player. He’s coming along very quickly, learning the offense one day at a time. Very talented, nice guy, works hard. He’s a good addition to the team.”
On a possible different dynamic from the team’s offense. “One of the trickiest things about playing in the NFL is who can play all 16 games, staying healthy is a huge part of that. I think our identity, as [it’s been in] past years, will grow as the season progresses, as we see what things work and what things we’re struggling with. Depending on our opponent, our game-plan always changes each week.”
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