Coughlin hints at larger Giants role for Shane Vereen


Shane Vereen turned heads this month when he tabbed his signing with the New York Giants as "a step up" after four seasons in New England.

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Vereen also went out of his way to praise Bill Belichick and the Patriots, but talked about his move to Gotham as an "opportunity" to grow on the field. Giants coach Tom Coughlin sounds open to that plan after alluding to Vereen as someone who will make New York less predictable on offense.

"I see him in that regard as a pass receiver coming out of the backfield, a pass protector, a guy who runs the ball in the three-wide offense in the run game, if you will, which is very prevalent today in our sport," Coughlin said during the NFL Annual Meeting, per Jordan Raanan of "So I see him in that regard."

Not one Giants running back had a reception of more than 27 yards last season, but Vereen topped that three times with the Patriots in 2014. His 99 catches over the past two seasons gave New England flexibility on offense, while Vereen's 11 grabs for 64 yards in the Super Bowl were a tangible X-factor in helping the Pats topple Seattle's star-studded secondary.

"You know what (Vereen) can do. Quite frankly, it's something from an attack standpoint we've had some success with, but not to the extent that he has," Coughlin said. "When you look at Vereen, a lot of the (Tom) Brady hookup with Vereen was the ball was almost automatically going to him."

After losing David Wilson, New York was on the hook to find versatility in the backfield. Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams remain in place, but Vereen gives play-caller Ben McAdoo a moveable target who can line up behind the quarterback or out wide.

It will be interesting to see how the Giants remake their attack -- especially on passing downs -- with Vereen in the mix.

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