FOXBORO - Through 14 games, BenJarvus Green-Ellis has 635 yards on 171 carries. That 3.7 average and the fact two games remain pretty much rule out the possibility of the hard-running BJGE reaching 1,000 yards for the second consecutive year. He's run for 50 yards. In his past three games. Only once did he top 100 yards (136 against the Jets) and he's only carried more than 20 times once (also against the Jets). Last season, the Patriots running game and BJGE were more impactful. Beginning November 14 in Pittsburgh, he ran for 87, 96, 59, 82, 87, 38, 104 and 80. He didn't have a YPC average under 4 yards in any of those games. What's changed? Well, one element is the number of balls directed to a full strength Wes Welker and a blossoming Rob Gronkowski. They have been the surest thing in the Patriots offense. Additionally, there hasn't been much bang from the running game in general this season. Danny Woodhead ran for 547 yards and averaged 5.6 yards per carry. This year, he's got 326 and is averaging 4.5. Sunday in Denver was a departure from that. Green-Ellis, Woodhead and rookie Stevan Ridley combined for 132 yards. The running back by committee approach the Patriots have used all year finally showed real dividends. When this three-headed monster was mentioned to Green-Ellis, he interrupted. "Four. Kevin (Faulk) played too. Ok, four-headed monster. "Five, actually.When Shane's back there," Green-Ellis added, referring to another rookie, Shane Vereen. Okay, five. However you slice it, thecarries are being shared. Wouldn't it beuseful sometimes for one back to get his mojoworking instead of guys being shuffled in and out?"Whatever it is, we're just gonna go out there and try to win the game," he shrugged. "That's the ultimate goal. From the backfield standpoint, all five of us are ready to go out there and contribute to get a W."It doesn't so much help the numbers though, does it?"This is not an individual sport," Green-Ellis smiled. "This is not golf or tennis or anything like that. When it's a team sport, you have to do what's best for the team but as an individual, what's best for the team, you do. End of story."
Even for some of the nation's top athletes, confident 20-somethings with the rest of their (perhaps very lucrative) lives ahead of them, there's a feeling you just can't shake when Bill Belichick walks into the room.
"When you first meet him, you're scared," said Ohio State linebacker Raekwon McMillan, per WBZ. "He's quizzing you. It's like a little test. But after you get done with the test, the quiz or whatever, drawing up the defense, it's pretty cool. They're real down to earth people. Really cool."
Belichick was spotted at Ohio State's pro day getting a closer look at McMillan and his teammates on Thursday. He then headed off to Ann Arbor, Michigan for the Wolverines showcase Friday.
During various scouting trips across the country, the Patriots appear to be showing significant interest in the incoming class of linebackers. Belichick spent some extra time with Vanderbilt's Zach Cunningham -- who's projected to be a first-rounder -- at his pro day. The team reportedly scheduled a meeting with a speedy linebacker from Cincinnati. And Matt Patricia caught up with Notre Dame linebacker James Onwualu once his workouts finished up on Thursday.
As for McMillan, the 6-2, 240-pounder was a second-team All-American and a first-team All-Big Ten choice. He's instinctive, but there's some question as to whether or not he has the strength to hold up inside at the next level.
Tom E. Curran has Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports as a guest to discuss the Aaron Hernandez double homicide trial. Wetzel has been in the courtroom, and wrote this piece about the day Hernandez’s former friend Alexander Bradley testified in court.
After speaking with Wetzel, Curran has Tim Rohan of MMQB.com on to discuss his day with ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
Quick Slants The Podcast is presented by Papa Gino’s.