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Brandon Bolden back with a bang: Now opponents ‘have to think about all three of us’

09.22.13 at 9:54 pm ET
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Brandon Bolden had a career-high 46-yard run in New England's win Sunday. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Brandon Bolden had a career-high 46-yard run in New England’s win Sunday. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

FOXBORO — Of all the Patriots running backs, Brandon Bolden might pack the biggest punch. And that punch was back in full force on Sunday as Bolden made his 2013 debut with the Patriots.

Bolden ran just three times but that included a 46-yard run in the second half that set up New England’s second field goal of the game in a 23-3 win over the Buccaneers. He finished with 51 yards on three runs and 49 yards on five catches. He was targeted by Tom Brady six times in the passing game.

With Shane Vereen out until Week 11 with a broken wrist, Bolden is not only the Patriots most powerful back, he’s arguably their most versatile.

“To go out there and you work all week and then to see how everything turned out today was awesome, especially being the first game back. It’s exciting to get back out there and play with my teammates,” Bolden said.

Bolden, who was sporting a wrap on his left forearm, was coming back after missing the first two games with a sore knee. Bolden said he was just happy to get back in the grind of an NFL game.

“Strangely, it does, just to get that lick again, but dang I haven’t been hit in a while and then to actually hit somebody and be like, ‘Ha, I still got it.’ It’s a great feeling,” Bolden said.

Sunday marked the first career start for Bolden in his second NFL season. Bolden showed he can have the same big impact as Stevan Ridley and LeGarrette Blount. Bolden said he’s not worried about how many touches he gets. Bolden needed only eight touches on Sunday to total 100 yards from scrimmage, second behind his 148 from Week 4 in 2012 against the Bills.

“We don’t even care about that and I can speak for LeGarrette and Ridley about this,” Bolden said. “We don’t care about that – they call our name, they call our name. If they don’t, they don’t. We’re going to encourage that guy who does go in and makes the best effort he can and I think today you got the best from all three.

“That’s three different looks that the defense has to deal with. That’s in the running game and, also in the passing game, because all three of us can stay in there on third down and do blitz pickup and all three of us can take it on first and second down, so that kind of gives the defense something else they really have to think about with all three of us.”

Read More: Brandon Bolden, LeGarrette Blount, New England Patriots, nfl
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