New England Patriots running back Brandon Bolden is one of those players on the bubble this year. Entering the final year of his contract, Bolden is out to prove that he is a valuable commodity on the offensive side of the ball and he is also out to prove to the Patriots that he is worth keeping around. According to a report by CLNS Radio Wednesday, Bolden is eager to get out on the football field and prove his worth.
Bolden has shown flashes of explosiveness out of the backfield and at times has been the second or third option on the depth chart due to the injury of Shane Vereen and the fumbling issues of Stevan Ridley. Bolden, however, has not been able to establish a consistency on the field to lock up a roster spot going into training camp.
Not only does Bolden have to compete with Ridley and Vereen, he also has to compete with Patriots 4th round draft pick James White and undrafted free agents Stephen Houston and Roy Finch. Bolden finds the additions to be a good thing and more of a challenge to himself to prove he can be what the Patriots are looking for in their running game.
He told the media following last month’s final minicamp session, “They brought us here to push each other and push ourselves. So it’s a competition but it’s a fun competition. I don’t see any weaknesses, but as a group I can tell you we’re all fierce competitors. We all want to come out on top, and that’s what drives us as a group to do what we have to do to help this team.”
If Bolden comes anywhere close to his 137-yard performance against the Buffalo Bills in a 2012 showdown, he should be a lock to at least make the team. Becoming the team’s feature back will depend on his ability to be more focused when he is given the opportunity to be that “go to guy.” With LaGarrette Blount no longer on the team, Bolden could have an opportunity to be the team’s power type back. In 2013, Bolden rushed for 271 yards on 55 carries. He averaged 4.9 yards a game and could be the combination of power and speed the Patriots need to establish a steady running game.