With Shane Vereen likely to return tonight for the New England Patriots, it is now time to reassess the backfield situation. Somebody has to lose snaps, and that man is Brandon Bolden.
Bolden has been playing Vereen’s role while Vereen has been hurt which means that Bolden has served as the pass-catching running back in the past eight games. It is time for that to stop.
Bolden’s play in this role has been very subpar. He has continuously dropped key passes, which caused one to wonder why Josh McDaniels kept trotting Bolden out there. There were certainly some good flashes from Bolden but nothing that inspired confidence that he could be the long-term solution in that role.
In truth, Bolden is probably best suited for the role of the short-yardage, clock-killing running back. His play is very reminiscent of BenJarvus Green-Ellis, a power running back who gets what he is blocked. One never really sees Bolden make too many negative plays when is carrying the football as his feet and body always seem to be moving forward.
However, this fact was no reason for Bolden to have continuously been featured as the pass-catching running back. It seemed like a petty move by McDaniels at the time as Stevan Ridley was intentionally left in the dust for quite some time. Even when Ridley started to come on Bolden was still the man that caught passes out of the backfield, and that was an experiment that predictably failed.
Well Vereen is back now, which means it is time for Bolden to move to fourth running back on the depth chart. Ridley is the main runner, Vereen will soon again be the pass-catcher and LaGarrette Blount is the short-yardage and clock-killing running back. Bolden has no defined role as of right now, and that is the way it should be.
Philip Alexander is a New England Patriots writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @steely0906, “like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.