Running back Shane Vereen played in just five games his rookie season, missing much of the year because of a hamstring injury, but he's healthy and has been on the field for organized team activities, preparing for the coming season.
Missing so much time "was definitely frustrating, but to be back with everybody else practicing and getting back to playing football, it’s great," the Cal product said Saturday. "And then to be able to come out here and share my story and share things that I've learned over the past couple of months have been even better."
Vereen and fellow second-year Patriot Sterling Moore were at Madison Park High School in Boston with several Patriots alumni for one of the annual "Football for You" clinics that offer a morning of drills for young players in Boston, Springfield, Worcester and Providence.
The two helped with the drills, then joined Jermaine Wiggins in addressing the group about perseverance and working toward their goals.
With BenJarvus Green-Ellis now with the Bengals, Vereen, Shane Ridley, Danny Woodhead, rookie Brandon Bolden and veteran signee Joseph Addai are competing for carries.
"It’s going good," Vereen said. "There’s always going to be competition and that’s what makes everyone better, that’s going to make our team a lot better."
A second-round pick in 2011, Vereen said he's tried to improve on every aspect of his game, including catching out of the backfield -- old/new offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels likes the screen game -- and is also eager to learn from former Colt Addai, who is the most experienced player in the running back group.
"Joe's a real good dude and he's been around the league for a while, so you can learn stuff from him on the field as well as off the field, and we've just reached the starting point of everything I'm able to learn from him," Vereen said. "I’ve only been around him for a couple weeks now, so the more I’m around him I’m sure the more the whole running back group will learn."