In the snap of a quick offseason, Patriots running back Shane Vereen transitioned from one of the youngest skill-position players on the offense who couldn’t always crack the lineup into something of a veteran who will be counted on to come through.
The well-documented offensive overhaul could set up Vereen for a breakout season in 2013, though he isn’t taking it for granted.
“I think it’s just going to be a year where we have to grind it out,” Vereen said. “We have to work hard. This is an important camp for everybody. It’s going to be a year where we have to come together as a team and we have to perform.”
His speed, elusiveness in space and receiving ability could help get more chances this fall.
Considering his late-season production and the fact that Danny Woodhead is out of the way, Vereen's prospects are looking good. He gained at least 38 total yards in six of his last nine games and scored five TDs in that span. Woodhead quietly finished as fantasy football's #25 RB in 2012, so Vereen could post similar numbers if given a similar workload. The Vereen/Woodhead duo posted #14 RB numbers in standard formats and #12 RB numbers in PPR.