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News Blitz 5/27: Shane Vereen to lead the way at running back in 2014?

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Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston expects Shane Vereen to lead all Patriots running backs in playing time in 2014 after playing 24.7% of the snaps in 2013 behind Stevan Ridley's 28.2%.

"If Vereen was healthy for all 16 games last year, I think it's safe to say he would have topped the list," adds Reiss. "The other point is that the way the Patriots play offense, you're usually going to get a pretty even split between the 'big back' and the 'passing back.' Finally, I don't think anything is just going to be handed to Ridley. He'll have to earn it." READ MORE>>

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Karen Guregian](http://bostonherald.com/sports/patriotsnfl/newenglandpatriots/2014/05/stephenhoustonatheadofpatriotsundraftedclass) of the Boston Herald believes that Patriots undrafted rookie RB Stephen Houston could add some power to the Patriots backfield after the team lost LeGarrette Blount in free agency this offseason.

"According to Deland McCullough, Houston's running backs coach at Indiana, there's more reason to believe he's a good choice as a sleeper to make the team," writes Guregian. "McCullough had nothing but praise across the board talking about Houston as a physical force and a pass catcher, as well as a blocker." READ MORE>>

Doug Kyed of NESN.com believes QB Jimmy Garoppolo and TE Justin Jones will be among the Patriots rookies to watch during OTAs.

"There is typically one undrafted player who stands out during OTAs - like the aforementioned Sudfeld last year," writes Kyed. "Tight end Justin Jones - all 6-foot-8, 277 pounds of him - will be exciting to watch, especially in a depleted tight end corps." READ MORE>>

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