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Sun., Apr. 19, 2015 12:00 AM to 10:59 PM EDT
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Position Analysis: Running back
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The Patriots committee approach was perhaps never more evident than late last season when LeGarrette Blount supplanted Stevan Ridley and turned in back-to-back monster performances to lead the offense. Blount rushed for 355 yards in wins over Buffalo (189, season finale) and Indianapolis (166, divisional playoffs), which accounted for about 38 percent of his 944 total yards on the season.
Ridley eventually was a healthy scratch following his fourth fumble and was relegated to second-tier status when he returned. His production didn't include the big plays Blount turned in either, and his 4.3-yard average was well below Blount's gaudy 5-yard mark in just 25 fewer carries.
A modest deal should be enough to retain Blount and the feeling is that's the more likely scenario. Teaming him with Ridley while Shane Vereen returns to handle the third-down role would seem to give the Patriots a formidable group in the backfield.
Running back doesn't appear to be a huge position of need heading into the new league year. Even if Blount departs via free agency, a veteran could easily be brought in to add to the committee, as could a rookie free agent or two.