BOSTON (CBS) – Patriots running back Shane Vereen appeared on the Gresh & Zolak show Tuesday afternoon, and the fact that his team is coming off a first-round bye he believes that gives them an advantage.
“I think it really helped us and plays in our favor. We were fortunate enough to get it [the bye],” said Vereen.
In terms of regular season stats, the Colts were ranked just outside the top ten in total defense – so they’re not exactly the ’85 Bears. However, they do present a lot of challenges that the Patriots must account for.
“They give you a lot of looks as a defense. They switch things up and rarely do the same thing twice, or three times over and over again. They do a good job of switching it up and they play with good team speed.”
Vereen’s role in the offense diminished since the Week 14 Cleveland game, where he totaled 162 yards from scrimmage on 15 touches.
Gresh wonders what happened to “Mr. Matchup” since then. Vereen indicated it has more to do with the team’s success in running the ball, and having a “run first mentality” more so than getting lost in the shuffle.
Injured during the team’s 2011 Super Bowl run, Vereen has only appeared in two games in his three-year tenure with New England.
However, his lack of playoff experience doesn’t mean he’s clueless as to what’s coming.
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“The effort in the playoffs is through the roof and the speed is through the roof – just as far as game speed and what you’re going to get from the other team. You know without a doubt that you’re going to get the opponent’s best, and they are going to lay it all out on the line – you don’t get that every week during the regular season,” Vereen told Gresh & Zo.
“I think that’s what makes the playoffs so much fun: you’re getting their best and you’re giving them your best. May the best team win.”
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