Bill Belichick offers high praise for Brandon Bolden

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Bill Belichick appreciates a hard worker.

That’s why in Monday’s press conference, the New England Patriots head coach had nothing but good things to say about running back Brandon Bolden.

“Brandon’s played for us on all three downs. He’s played on early downs, he’s played in sub situations. He’s a smart player, has a good set of skills,” Belichick said. “He can run, he can catch, he can pass protect. He’s given us a lot of production and leadership in the kicking game.”

“He does a good job in the room – whether it be in the running back room or the special teams room – of being prepared, helping out the younger guys. He’s a good communicator, so things on the punt team, punt return where things can happen pretty fast and you need to make some adjustments – he’s good with that. Very good in blitz pickup and in his understanding of the passing game. He’s a four-down player – three-down offensive player with versatility in the kicking game and all different phases.”

Through five seasons with the Patriots so far, Bolden has totaled 203 attempts for 845 yards and six rushing touchdowns. He also has 46 receptions for 366 yards and two receiving touchdowns.

But despite all the high praise, Bolden is not a roster lock just yet.

His production lessened throughout last season because the other backs ahead of him were healthy. He was on the field for just 13 offensive snaps last season, while contributing to 59 percent of plays in the kicking game.

We soon get to see if Bolden’s hard work has paid off, as the big roster cutdown day for the NFL is September 2. But Belichick made it loud and clear Monday that Bolden’s dedication and persistency has not gone unnoticed.

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