Patriots beat writer Jeff Howe notes that RB Shane Vereen was the top back during the team's practice: "The big thing that jumped out was Vereen served as the top back during practice. The unknown is whether or not it means anything, particularly since I have no idea who took on that role during their first two sessions. It’s just like preseason carries in that regard, as Bill Belichick will designate certain times for certain players to have their time with the first-team offense. But again, Vereen is high on my list of players to watch during the offseason, since it was difficult to make any lasting impressions last year."
We're currently expecting Stevan Ridley to be the lead back in the Patriots RBBC, but Vereen could easily carve out a big role. Don't forget that he was drafted ahead of Ridley just last year, so the team obviously had him rated higher a short while ago.