Shane Vereen is a rookie running back for the New England Patriots, taken in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Vereen rushed for over 1,100 yards in his senior season at Cal, and recorded 13 touchdowns, good enough to draw the attention of the New England Patriots, who took him in the second round with the 56th overall pick. ProPlayerInsiders caught up with Vereen in Indianapolis as the Patriots prepared for the Super Bowl this Sunday against the New York Giants.
He has seen limited action this year, with the bulk of the carries going to Benjarvus Green-Ellis, Danny Woodhead and Kevin Faulk. He credits learning the most from watching 13-year veteran Kevin Faulk prepare for games. “Working with Kevin Faulk has really opened my eyes,” Vereen said. “His work ethic is on a whole other level. Learning how hard he works has helped me a lot.”
Due to some nagging hamstring injuries, he has only dressed for 7 games this season, but he is suited up and ready to go for the Super Bowl, an ideal way to cap off a rookie season for the Patriots.
ProPlayerInsiders (PPI): What does it mean to you to make the Super Bowl so early in your career?
Shane Vereen (SV): The biggest thing is just the experience. Joining a winning team so early in my career has helped me learn how to win.
Working with [13-year veteran RB] Kevin Faulk has really opened my eyes. His work ethic is on a whole other level. Learning how hard he works has helped me a lot.
PPI: What did the Patriots learn from playing the New York Giants back in Week 9 (a game the Giants won 24-20)?
SV: We made some mistakes, and they capitalized on them. We need to focus on eliminating mistakes.
PPI: What is the toughest thing you’ve had to overcome to get here?
SV: Coming in as a rookie, with a short offseason, it was tough. I had a couple of hamstring problems earlier in the year that I had to work to overcome, so it’s been a tough year.
PPI: How did Matt Light’s leadership as the Patriots union rep help the team make it through the lockout?
SV: He’s really open, and you can come to him with any questions. He has no problems stepping in and saying when something isn’t right.
PPI: What is at the top of your workout playlist right now?
SV: Always something to keep me going. Right now Rick Ross. Always Lil Wayne.
PPI: What is the worst job you ever had growing up?
SV: Definitely mowing the lawn. I had bad allergies, and was always sneezing and my eyes were watering. I didn’t get any sympathy.
Scottie Graham contributed to this report.