RB Shane Vereen
Aug. 2, 2016
Q: Shane, I know it wasn’t a full pad or slam you to the ground kind of practice, but how good was it to at least be able to crack some shoulder pads today?
A: “Yeah, it was good to get your cobwebs out and get your first hits in. It was a good practice, it was a little bit more like real football and that’s always exciting and it is always the point of camp and really getting into real football and really working on the techniques that are going to help us down the line.”
Q: There are some veterans who would really like to see more hitting and there are some who like practice scaled back. Where do you stand on this?
A: “I am the type of guy that goes with the flow, more hitting is fine with me and less hitting is also good. I just try to take the reps that I am given and make the most out of them. Whether with pads or without pads, I just try to make the most of what I am given.”
Q: Did you guys expect to be in full pads today or just shoulder pads?
A: “No, I am pretty sure this was always the plan but I think the day is coming up when we will be in full pads. It’s just a gradual climb.”
Q: How much more in-synch are you with Eli now as opposed to last year?
A: “I would say much more, especially from this point last year. I am much more confident in myself as far as knowing what to do, and I think Eli is a lot more comfortable as well with the schemes and the offense. I know he is moving a lot faster with his play calling and stuff like that. We are moving in a much better oiled machine than we were at this point last year.”
Q: The backfield was crowded last year and you have added Bobby Rainey and Paul Perkins. Are you sitting there asking yourself how is this going to work?
A: “Yeah, We definitely have a lot of guys, but it is good for right now. I definitely think we are learning a lot, especially in the early weeks of camp, and learning a lot from the different guys in the room. I like having a lot of guys in the room because everyone has a different style and everyone brings something new to the table so you can learn a lot from that.”
Q: You said good for right now, once the season get started are you looking for more structure and more clear hierarchy then it has been?
A: Yeah, I think everyone’s roles will start to be carved out as camp goes. Coach said earlier that last week and we don’t know exactly where we are going to be with the team and what the makeup is going to be so that is what camp is for to put that together and competition to it’s highest element.”
Q: How is the running back rotation being done in practice?
A: “Everyone is getting their fair amount. There are too many of us for me to sit there and notice who is getting what, but all I can really do is just concentrate on the reps that I am given. I know all the guys are doing the same because we aren’t getting too many, so we have to make the most out of the ones we do get.”
Q: How much of a challenge is that? When you don’t get too many reps and you have to get your work in but not as many reps.
A: “It’s not a challenge if you are focused and if you come to practice knowing the amount of the reps you get, you have to make the most of them. We don’t come to practice expecting to get a million reps. We come to get exactly what is scheduled and we go over it and know what we are going to get coming into practice and we just make the most of what we can.”
Q: Did you get more or less reps in New England?
A: It’s hard to tell. It is probably about the same, but like I said, it is the early stages of camp and everyone pretty much basic.”
Q: Have you seen Perkins close the gap on what he missed in the spring?
A: “I see him coming along, even Marshaun (Coprich) as well. He is a smart guy and a smart player so he is catching on very quickly, and I have seen his progression go pretty steadily and he’s learning a lot.”
Q: Does it matter to a player on who calls the plays?
A: “No, I don’t think plays you have matter. I think what you do with the plays that you do get matters. So like I said, just take advantage of what you get.”
Q: Can you even tell who is calling the plays? If both Coach Sullivan and Coach McAdoo are calling them in camp?
A: “Not at all, it is the same offense we had last year, but I can’t tell. I don’t know if anyone else can, but I know I can’t.”
Q: Coach Johnson was talking about former 2,000-yard rushers and that is how he measures running backs. Does he talk to you guys about that?
A: “Yeah, that is always the standard and it is always where we set the bar as a running back group and as a room. We set the bar very high and we don’t shy down from that. We have expectations for ourselves and we hope we can reach them.”
Q: What do you think the strengths and the weaknesses were for the backfield last year?
A: “There is a lot, I think we had a smart group and a very talented group last year, but unfortunately we weren’t able to run the way we wanted to. Each player brought their skill set to the table. We had some moments in there when we really shined.”
Q: Are the Patriots going to make it without Brady for four games?
A: “That you have to ask them.”
Q: When you say you don’t back down when talking about 2000-yard runners, do you think that is realistic for someone in this system the way it is constituted?
A: “Yeah, I mean if we can get the running game going, the pass game will help the running game and vice versa. I would never put limits on any offense, limits on any player, position or group, especially now because it is so early in the season. We are just trying to get our feet down and get back into football shape.”
Q: Was last year tough for you because you’re not really used to being on a team that went 6-10 and missed the playoffs?
A: “Last was tough for me not just because of the record but because I knew as a team we could play better. It wasn’t just frustrating for me, it was frustrating for everyone in the locker room. Nobody likes to lose and nobody likes missing the playoffs and playing worse than the talent that is in the locker room.”
Q: How difficult was blowing those late leads?
A: “Yeah, extremely difficult. Going into this year after last year’s experience, hopefully we have learned and hopefully we don’t let that happen again.”
Q: There are not a whole lot of guys on this roster that have been to the playoffs. Do guys talk to you about what that is like? You’re a player who has been there.
A: “There are definitely conversations going on around the locker room about getting there and the postseason and what not. We have to start with Week 1, First, we have to start with preseason first and we have to start with tomorrow, really. It is so far down the road, we have to just try and stack days together and try to get good practices and be consistent with them.”
Q: Did you overlap with Faulk at all when you were in New England?
A: “Yeah. One year.”
Q: What did his tenure mean? I know he was put in their hall of fame.
A: “Yeah, he was put in the hall of fame yesterday, I believe. He was a great mentor, a great leader. He was kind of like that player-coach and I learned a lot from him and I am trying to do the same now that I am the older guy in the room. I am trying to take some of these younger guys under my wing and really help them get to where they want to be.”
Q: Is he kind of the model for what your position should be?
A: “He is definitely a great example and is somebody that guys across the league and guys coming up can look up to and watch his film and really learn.”
Q: Are there big differences this year as opposed to last year that you see?
A: “I wouldn’t say huge differences, no. I still feel like I am still in the same regime and same rules and I also feel like practice has moved the same tempo and the excitement is good. I am really excited to see what we can put on the field this year.”