Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Patriots' depth at RB draws notice
By Mike Reiss
On Tuesday, the Patriots' running back personnel was spotlighted and it was mentioned that it wouldn't be a surprise if five running backs make the 53-man roster. The point was made that, "On the surface, the Patriots look deeper at the running back position this year."
That depth was also noted by Marc Sessler of NFL.com, who on Tuesday opined on the eight NFL teams he believes have the deepest running back corps. The Patriots, led by Stevan Ridley (team-high 44.8 percent of the RB snaps last season), landed at No. 7.
"Ridley's 1,263 yards and 12 scores didn't receive enough fanfare last season. He was an effective tackle-shedder," writes Sessler in a piece that also includes a highlight video of the "Best of Stevan Ridley."
Sessler also notes Shane Vereen's solid skills as a pass-catcher and how reporters observed Vereen split out wide at times during spring drills. This is something we've seen Patriots' running backs do regularly -- aligning their backs wide -- and it goes back to the days of Corey Dillon. So it wasn't unusual to see Vereen in that alignment, although it seems fair to say that his pass-catching ability could make him more of a threat in the passing game than some other Patriots backs when that happens.
When it comes to the teams with the deepest running back position, Sessler ranks the 49ers, Seahawks, Ravens, Texans, Eagles and Saints as the top six, followed by New England.