Vereen settling in for second season


Vereen settling in for second season

FOXBORO - Shane Vereen played all of 26 snaps in 2011.

The rookie second-rounder out of Cal hurt his hamstring during training camp and the bus, in essence, left without him.

Now, with BenJarvus Green-Ellis in Cincinnati and Kevin Faulk likely done, Vereen figures to scale the depth chart.

He's been running with the starters quite a bit in the training sessions open to the media. And while first-team reps in June don't necessarily translate into a starting role in September, the 23-year-old Vereen figures to get the ball more than 26 times in 2012.

"It's good to have some structure this offseason instead of last year with the lockout," Vereen said Tuesday as the Patriots' three-day mini-camp began. "It's much more efficient. Off the field, you're able to take the time and learn the playbook. In the weight room, you're able to do the program that they have for us."

The biggest difference, said Vereen, is feeling at home.

"(I'm) feeling a lot more comfortable but it will still take time and I have a lot to work on," Vereen explained. "Just overall confidence is the main thing. The more you hear it, the more you're in the offense the more confident you become with what your responsibility is."

So how does he foresee his workload shaping up come September.

"That's a great question," Vereen said with a smile. "I'm just going to keep working each and every day."

Patriots bolster receiver depth by adding Brown to practice squad


Patriots bolster receiver depth by adding Brown to practice squad

FOXBORO -- The Patriots have added some receiver depth to their locker room by signing Da'Ron Brown to their practice squad. 

Brown, 25, was a seventh-round pick of the Chiefs in 2015 and spent his rookie season on the Kansas City practice squad. At Northern Illinois, the 6-foot, 199-pounder caught 155 passes in four years, accumulating 2,295 yards and scoring 19 touchdowns. He also rushed for two scores in his career. As a senior in 2014, he caught 68 passes for 1,065 yards. 

With the signing, the Patriots have filled out their practice squad. The team has had an opening on its 10-man unit since the Colts signed away receiver Devin Street for their 53-man roster.

With just four receivers on the Patriots roster, not including special teams ace Matthew Slater, they've loaded up on receiver depth through their practice squad with Brown, Devin Lucien and DeAndrew White.

Brissett, Garoppolo both practicing for Patriots on Tuesday


Brissett, Garoppolo both practicing for Patriots on Tuesday

FOXBORO -- The Patriots had both of their qurterbacks on the field and suited up for Tuesday's shells-and-sweats practice on the fields behind Gillette Stadium. 

Both Jimmy Garoppolo (shoulder) and Jacoby Brissett (thumb) are dealing with injuries, but both were present for the session, as were the rest of their teammates on the 53-man roster. 

Brissett was spotted in the Patriots locker room before practice with no brace or wrap of any kind on his thumb, but he did have his right thumb taped when out on the field. 

Patriots tight end AJ Derby was the lone player in a black practice jersey, indicating that he has been named practice player of the week. Running low on quarterbacks, Derby may have served as the scout-team quarterback as the Patriots defense prepared for the Texans. He played the position at Iowa and Arkansas before changing positions.

The Patriots have four practices scheduled this week, and the team will release injury reports, as usual, on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.