Ex-Patriots running back Shane Vereen discusses his playing career

Shane Vereen is a well-known name in New England. He spent his four years with the Patriots and played a key role in the Super Bowl XLIX vs. Seattle victory.

For Vereen, as he recently told Pats Pulpit, it’s been a long haul to get to that point.

I went on my second day. I knew I wouldn’t go to the first round, but I thought I might have a chance based on the people drafted before me. I could only speak ten words, so I didn’t speak much.”

Tensions eased when the home phone rang, with Patriots coach Bill Belichick on the other end of the line. Vereen fell off the board in the second round, placing him 56th overall for the Patriots.

Soon after, he packed his bags and flew to New England. There, he knew it would be difficult to hit the field as a rookie.

“It’s been very tough for newcomers because they don’t know what to expect and they don’t know what they don’t know,” Vereen said. “You are learning a lot in a short period of time.”

To make matters worse, Vereen was named 2011 Lockout Year. As a result, I didn’t have the speed advantage I had in my normal offseason prep. There was no OTA he nor minicamp.

This meant learning important things about the NFL in less time than other rookie classes and blazing a trail on the field the traditional way.

“One of the things I respected and loved about playing there was that I had to earn playing time,” Vereen said. “Just because they were drafted in the second round didn’t mean they were going to play me, so I got them.”

He finally got this playing time after battling several injuries. His first NFL score came in 2011 against Kansas City on Monday night football against the Chiefs.

Just a year later, Vereen began to play a bigger role on the offense, having one of the best games in the 2012 playoffs against the Houston Texans. 3 touchdown games in division rounds.

“I didn’t have a ton of tape, especially in the root game, so one thing that bothered me was that the linebackers had me covered,” Vereen said of his breakout performance. . “I thought they were going to give me a dime or something after my first catch, but they left me with a linebacker. I did.”

Vereen’s college coach used to refer to linebackers as “neck rolls”. Just a few years later, he made another productive game in the Super Bowl against the Seattle Seahawks.

Is it because he had another linebacker? No.

“They were different types of neck rolls,” Vereen joked. “It was Bobby Wagner and KJ Wright. They were solid and were some of the best defenses in the league for the second year in a row.”

Vereen played a big role in that game, recording 11 catches for 64 yards back and forth. The game ended with the infamous Malcolm Butler interception. It was an emotional roller coaster for players.

“When we finally won and the confetti fell, it was just tears and an explosion of emotion,” Vereen said.

The following offseason, Vereen signed with the New York Giants and played his final three seasons. He then had a brief preseason stint with the New Orleans Saints, but called it a career in 2018.

Despite being away from football for four years, he is still connected with it today.

“I keep in touch with former teammates. I watch football because I do NFL radio and college radio, but I also do NFL Sirius XM radio,” Vereen says. “It keeps me close and hopefully eventually I can call the game at the booth. That’s where I want to go now.”

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