The New England Patriots have always been known for utilizing several running backs throughout the season rather than having a bell cow back. That's been the case since LeGarrette Blount returned from suspension in Week 2 as he and Dion Lewis have essentially split carries.
Lewis burst onto the scene as a dynamic scat back with the innate ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, but also make guys miss between the tackles. His impressive performance through three games has led a Patriots coach to compare him to a former great, Kevin Faulk.
"He's very similar to Kevin," running backs coach Ivan Fears said Monday, via NESN.com. "Kevin of course played at LSU and was a hell of an every-down back. The only limitation that these guys have had is the size factor. Everybody just knocked them because of it. But believe me, they've proven a lot of people wrong. Dion has still got a lot of work to do. We're not giving him any crown right now. We're just saying he's been very good through three games and we look forward to see what he can do for us in the future."
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Lewis has kept defenders on their toes with his ability to split outside and catch passes as a slot receiver. It's still early, but the Patriots are finding ways to get him involved, and it's worked well. He's compiled 325 yards of total offense through three games and has scored two touchdowns.
"We knew there was something there," Fears said. "We had a feeling there was something there, and we let it play out. He took advantage of preseason games and practice sessions and he's done a good job. Like all the guys, he's niched out a little role for himself."