Patriots hurry-up offense nothing new to Blount

Patriots hurry-up offense nothing new to Blount
July 30, 2013, 9:15 pm
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LeGarrette Blount has some stiff competition in his battle to make the Patriots running back corps.

(AP Images)

FOXBORO -- LeGarrette Blount has one aspect of his transition from Tampa Bay to New England covered: Making nice with the rest of the running backs.

"They're a very close-knit group, but they welcomed me and I fit in well with them," he said after Tuesday's training camp session. "They brought me right in, so I'm pretty comfortable with them now."

Finding a spot on the field may not be as easy; the Patriots backfield is crowded.

Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen figure to be roster locks. That leaves four backs -- Blount, Brandon Bolden, Leon Washington and rookie George Winn -- to duke it out. New England had just four ball carriers on its 53-man roster last year.

Bolden opened the door for Blount Tuesday by missing practice. But the fourth-year player knows he needs to do more to make the team than pick up another guy's dropped reps. He believes his past experience will help him keep pace with the Patriots' up-tempo attack.

No, he wasn't talking about his time with Tampa.

"My experience with Oregon helps me a lot with that," Blount said. "Being in this position, it's kind of tough just learning the offense. But, like I said, my experience with Oregon helps a little bit with that."

New England doesn't run the option the way former Ducks coach Chip Kelly did. There are still key elements of Oregon's offense -- the no-huddle, a remarkable number of plays, one-word play calls, and speed, speed, speed -- that Blount can use as reference points with the Patriots.

Though he insists he isn't stressing the competition.

"I'm just happy wherever," he shrugged. "I'm just looking forward to playing some football, that's all."