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Sports

October 5, 2012

Patriots rookie RB in the New England spotlight

(Continued)

Learning from each other as they go, Ridley and Bolden have New England ranked eighth in the league in rushing at 144 yards per game, one year after finishing 20th.

“We all realize that we are a young group and I guess we kind of embrace that as a group, if that makes sense,” Bolden said. “Because we all know that we have to pick each other up. ‘Hey you messed up on this. Let’s work on this.’

“We try to make each other better and that’s pretty much our game plan.”

Bolden admitted he had no idea how many reps he’d receive prior to the Buffalo game. He says he’s in the dark again this week, too, yet is ready for whatever comes his way against Denver.

“You go into every week of practice, going in and trying to learn as much of the game plan as you can,” he said. “Because in case your number does get called, you have the opportunity to go execute everything.”

He did Sunday.

Bolden carried the ball 16 times against the Bills, averaging 8.6 yards per touch, after entering the game with just seven carries for 15 yards on the season. He also scored his second touchdown of the season on what quickly could become his trademark approach, using his 5-foot-11, 220-pound frame to run over Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore on a 7-yard counter.

“Offensive line, first off, did a real great job of just giving everybody a chance to run,” Bolden said. “And what you do after you get the ball is pretty much all you.”

Sounds like a lesson he learned from Patriots coach Bill Belichick.

“I think the thing that really matters the most with the backs is how many yards they gain on their own,” Belichick said. “Any back can really run until the first guy gets to him, that’s not really that special, but it’s what guys do after they could or should be brought down, whether they can continue to add yards to the play after that. That’s the mark really of a good runner.”

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