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Patriots Replay Wed Sep 30 | 02:00 PM - 11:59 PM

Something new: The running back spot is unsettled

With training camp just 18 days away, the running back spot provides some interesting choices in New England. The main competition for the vacant starting job would appear to be between third-round draft pick J.R. Redmond and free agent pickup Raymont Harris.

Harris has experience in the role and is the biggest back on the roster, but he did not play in 1999 because of injury. If the time off helps him regain the ability that helped him gain 1,033 yards with Chicago in 1997, he would be a decent starter while Redmond adjusts to the pro level. In 51 career games Harris has averaged 3.7 yards on 671 carries, good for 2,473 yards. He also has 16 rushing touchdowns.

Redmond provides good size and has shown potential during rookie orientation and mini-camps. He's listed at 5-11 and 216 pounds, and he moves very well.

Second-year man Kevin Faulk began his rookie season as the starter, but injuries and the signing of veteran Terry Allen made him a third-down back, where he played well. Faulk may not have the size for an every down back, but he runs hard and can make people miss. He can handle more than just a third-down role in the offense, and he is also a big factor in the return game.

Rookie Patrick Pass has a battle ahead of him, but he has smooth hands out of the backfield. He has a compact build, but he'll also be spending time learning the wide receiver position. Robert Edwards will not be ready in 2000, but he holds out hope for the 2001 season.

Running backs (5)Ht.Wt.Exp.Notes
J.R. Redmond5-11216RNice size, should be a major candidate for the starting job.
Raymont Harris6-02305 Did not play in 1999, but he is a former 1,000-yard rusher.
Kevin Faulk5-81972Not quite an every down guy, but more than a third-down back. Also a solid threat in return game.
Patrick Pass5-10208RSoft hands out of backfield, but needs to be a special teams guy to make team. Listed as a RB, but has also been switched to WR.
Robert Edwards5-112182Hopefully can return from scary knee injury in 2001.
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