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Bill Belichick: Brandon Bolden picking things up pretty well

Brandon Bolden, Chandler Jones AP

The easiest way to know that training camps are humming is the rapid increase of stories trumpeting players with limited name recognition.

Guys jump out at early practices, people get excited about finding a diamond in the rough and things just snowball from there. If you read the one-liners on Tuesday morning or have been following the work of any of the Patriots beat writers, you know that one of this year’s group of fast-rising players is undrafted rookie running back Brandon Bolden.

With Joseph Addai gone and Bill Belichick always open to new faces at running back, there’s a big opportunity for Bolden in New England. Bolden was hurt and suspended at points during his senior year at Ole Miss, the same school that produced former Patriots undrafted running back find BenJarvus Green-Ellis, but put up impressive numbers in his first three college seasons. Bolden is similar in size to Green-Ellis as well, which adds to the speculation that he could find a spot on the Pats roster.

Belichick was asked about Bolden at Tuesday’s press conference. He’s not one to gush at the podium, but said Bolden’s done a “decent job” and that he has good skills in the passing game. He also seems to be pleased with Bolden’s brains.

“Like all the rookies, he’s made plenty of mistakes,” Belichick said. “But he’s made progress, he’s worked at it. Like I said, he’s a smart kid, he’s picked things up fairly well.”

The Patriots aren’t likely to have a workhorse back this season. Stevan Ridley looks set for a more prominent role, but Bolden will be as good a bet as any to get carries behind him if the buzz on him stays strong through the rest of camp.

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9 Responses to “Bill Belichick: Brandon Bolden picking things up pretty well”
  1. rc33 says: Jul 31, 2012 3:29 PM

    Better hands and MUCH faster.
    Law Firm looked like he was dragging a piano at times.

  2. blacknole08 says: Jul 31, 2012 3:29 PM

    The RB job in New England is really up for grabs. Woodhead is not an every-down back but he can make some big plays and Ridley fumbles too much but has a nose for the goal line. Vereen seems like a better option catching passes out of the backfield than running between the tackles. If Bolden has the same intangibles as the law-firm that would be a steal for the Pats.

    Sounds like it will another year of RB by committee for NE though.

  3. monosylab1k says: Jul 31, 2012 3:37 PM

    Bolden was a good SEC back before injuries, and now that they released Joseph “I ain’t gonna run no mo” Addai, maybe he’ll see the field.

    I’m more excited for Ridley, though. He was never really impressive at LSU, but I saw him running with power and explosion last year in limited time…didn’t even look like the same guy. I guess that’s what an NFL training/nutrition program can do for ya.

  4. homelanddefense says: Jul 31, 2012 3:57 PM

    I thought they were going to try and stash this kid on the practice squad, but after the Addai cut (assuming they dont sign another vet) I think this kid has a nice shot of making the team.

    The assertion that Ridley has a fumbling problem is overblown. YES, he did have a fumble back to back weeks to end the season, however only 1 was an official fumble (the other went out of bounds) on 95 touches. So 1 in 95 touches for a fumble

    In college he had 583 touches and 5 fumbles, so that is 1 for 117 touches. To put that in perspective, of the 15 backs in the NFL to reach 1000 yards last year, they averaged 1 fumble every 90 touches.

    Were the fumbles at the end of last year worrisome, yes. But hardly worth the label he has received around here

  5. patriotenvy says: Jul 31, 2012 5:46 PM

    Kevin Faulk had a fumble problem at first. He worked hard and won the coaches over. Sometimes it’s not that a person fumbles a lot, but at very bad times in very bad ways. Not saying that is the case – just that raw stats don’t show that.

  6. NakedCowboy! says: Jul 31, 2012 9:42 PM

    I don’t know why they let law firm go in first place… he was a solid RB… not great but good… never fumbled… never really lost yardage… and chiefs signed him for like 2m per year… that doesn’t sound much…

  7. fryjor82 says: Aug 1, 2012 7:22 AM

    Does it really matter who carries the rock for NE?
    Pretty sure I could manage back there with T-Bomb at QB!!
    Unless it is an elite RB, they are all the same,

  8. jolink653 says: Aug 1, 2012 12:08 PM

    Why spend a 2nd round pick on Vereen if you’re not going to start him? I like a lot Ridley too but I was hoping for more out of Vereen..Maybe once preseason starts he’ll show more than he did in his injury-plagued rookie year

  9. guypatsfan says: Aug 1, 2012 3:54 PM

    The NFL is first and foremost a passing league, and the Pats are not the only team out there doing the running back by committee thing. Actually, it’s probably the smart thing to do, considering the amount of punishment the average NFL running back absorbs in a season. If you’ve got four guys who can get you 500-700 yards in a season, then that’s 2000y+ yards from the running back position, and if your team makes the playoffs, then those guys will be a lot fresher than if you had only one workhorse back. RBs are overrated anyways; Maurice Jones-Drew rushed for over 1600 yards last year, and the Jags were 5-11.

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