FOXBORO, Mass. — Shane Vereen needs a nap in the worst way.
The former Cal running back got the call from the Patriots during Friday’s second round, packed his bags and went straight to the airport, where he took a red-eye flight to New England. He got to the area at 5 a.m. and has spent his Saturday morning touring Gillette Stadium and meeting with his new coaching staff.
Vereen’s eyes were puffy, and his voice was raspy. When asked if he was a coffee drinker, he responded, “No, I might need to start, though.”
It’s a necessary process during the NFL’s touch-and-go labor situation. Draft picks can meet with teams through Saturday, but they’ll be locked out after that. Therefore, it’s important for all parties to take advantage of the loophole in the rule, and Vereen has already met with Bill Belichick and running backs coach Ivan Fears.
So far, Vereen has enjoyed what he’s seen, even with his eyes half shut.
“[It’s] very exciting,” Vereen said. “Everything is everything I pictured it to be and more. I’m just all in all excited to be here and happy with the situation that I’ve fallen into.”