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Shane Vereen motivated following first losing season

Posted May 31, 2016

Giants running back Shane Vereen discusses lessons learned from last season:
This time last year, running back Shane Vereen was participating in his first offseason with the Giants, having left New England to sign a free agent contract with Big Blue earlier in the year.

Vereen was also coming off a victory in Super Bowl XLIX, where he caught a record eleven catches, the most by a running back in Super Bowl history.

Fast-forward to the present and Vereen, a six-year NFL veteran, is coming off a much different type of season, one in which the Giants finished below .500 and third in the NFC East.

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“I took a lot from last season,” Vereen said. “You learn a lot by winning and how to control your emotions and not getting too big-headed when you win, but you also learn not to get too down when you lose.”

In his first year with the Giants, the California native set career highs in receptions (59), receiving yards (494) and receiving touchdowns (four). He also ran for 260 yards while sharing backfield duties with Rashad Jennings, Andre Williams and Orleans Darkwa.

Despite the team’s win-loss record, Vereen maintains the Giants were much closer than their 6-10 record might indicate.

“We were so close in so many games, and it’s the little things,” Vereen said. “You learn the importance of the little things and you learn the importance of really paying attention to what the coaches are telling you.”

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On the football field, Vereen has known little besides winning. In 2008, his first season at Cal, Vereen helped lead the Bears to a 9-4 record and a victory in the Emerald Bowl (now the Foster Farms Bowl). In his four years in New England, Vereen and the Patriots went 49-15 in the regular season.

Vereen believes that win or lose, there’s always a lesson to be learned.

“Going through a tough season like that last year, you learn what you need to work on not only as a player, but as a team.”

Looking ahead to this upcoming season, the 27-year-old has been all smiles since Big Blue reported for offseason workouts, and even more so since OTAs began at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center last week.

“This is a family, and to see your brothers again is a good feeling,” Vereen said. “It’s been good to shake out the cobwebs and it’s just fun to get back out there and start playing actual football again.”

The Giants have seven more OTAs scheduled before the team's mandatory minicamp, which runs June 14-16.

For Vereen, it means more opportunity to get better as a player and as a team.

“We need to improve individually, even before we can improve as a team,” Vereen said. “I need to get bigger, faster and stronger so I can become even more explosive.”