BenJarvus Green-Ellis and the Patriots ready to pack a punch in Pittsburgh
|10.25.11 at 10:23 pm ET|
FOXBORO — BenJarvus Green-Ellis wants everyone to know that he didn’t need the bye week because he was beat up as a running back.
The 26-year-old running back is in the midst of a breakout season with the Patriots, proving to everyone that he can handle the load of a feature back.
He has 391 yards on 91 carries this season, while playing in all six games.
“I don’t take a lot of pounding,” said Green-Ellis on Tuesday.
Reminded he still DELIVERS quite the punch at 5-foot-11 and 215 pounds, Green-Ellis did acknowledge the benefit of a week off.
“I guess rest is always good but at the same time, you have that urge to want to get back to football, get back to practice and right now, that’s where I’m at with it. I’m just anxious to get back on the practice field and continue to get better at the things needed to win,” he said.
Green-Ellis will have one of his biggest challenges this week against the Steelers, especially if he is called upon to pick up the blitz packages of their defense, led by perennial Pro Bowl safety Troy Polamalu. Whether he’s carrying the ball or staying in the backfield, Green-Ellis and the Patriots will have a sense of where Polamalu is at all times.
“Troy is kind of a spontaneous player,” Green-Ellis said. “He’ll kind of go anywhere so you’ve got to make sure you’re moving your feet and staying with him when you’re blocking and make sure your little technique things are fundamentally sound.”
Last year in Pittsburgh, Green-Ellis had a very productive day on the same Heinz Field he’ll be called upon to deliver on Sunday. He carried the ball 18 times for 87 yards, good for a 4.8 yards per carry average, which included a game-best run of 18 yards.
“They’re fundamentally sound and they know what they’re doing,” Green-Ellis said. “Sometimes, they don’t cut guys loose and they’ve been doing it for a while so that helps [them], and they’ve been playing together for a while. So, we just need to capitalize when we can.”
It came as no surprise when Green-Ellis was asked Tuesday if the week off helped his banged up toe. His answer came as even less of a surprise.
“I’m not talking about injuries,” Green-Ellis said.