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."