Veteran RB Jordan hopes for success with Patriots

Updated: July 27, 2008, 6:09 PM ET
Associated Press

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Veteran running back Lamont Jordan hopes to follow in the footsteps of his good friend Randy Moss with the New England Patriots.

The 29-year-old Jordan signed with New England on Saturday, one day after the Oakland Raiders released him. He hopes to recharge his career with the Patriots just as Moss did last season, when he caught 98 passes for 1,493 yards and an NFL-record 23 touchdowns.

"It didn't surprise me a bit what he did," Jordan, a seven-year veteran, said after his second practice with the Patriots on Sunday, the team's fourth day of training camp. "In Oakland, Randy was always playing hurt."

Jordan said the Patriots expressed interest to his agent almost immediately after he was released. Oakland drafted running back Darren McFadden in the first round and made it clear in the offseason Jordan was no longer welcome.

"Any time you have a chance to put on a Patriots uniform, you take it," Jordan said.

Jordan ran hard during some red-zone plays Sunday and said his body responded well.

"I haven't been around football much in the offseason and it feels good to get back," said Jordan, who spent four years backing up Curtis Martin with the Jets before signing with Oakland in 2005.

His first season with the Raiders was a big one with 1,025 yards and nine touchdowns, but injuries limited him the past two seasons. He ran 144 times for 549 yards and three touchdowns while starting seven games and seeing action in 12 last year.

Jordan has also been adept at catching the ball out of the backfield, a must in the Patriots offense. In 2005, he had 70 receptions for 563 yards and two touchdowns.

"I can catch the ball," the 5-10, 230-pound Jordan said. "I take great pride in it."

Jordan said he is already working on pass-protection schemes with running backs coach Ivan Fears, and he realizes the competition just to make the team will be tough, never mind finding significant playing time.

"Lamont adds some quality depth to our backfield," coach Bill Belichick said. "He's tough to tackle, a hard runner, and good in the passing game."

The Patriots running back situation has become crowded.

Laurence Maroney rebounded from injury to gain 835 yards with six touchdowns last season, and veteran Sammy Morris was the Pats' best back until he went down with an injury early in the season.

Kevin Faulk stars on third down in the passing game and returns punts and kickoffs. The heat should be felt almost immediately by veteran Heath Evans and second-year man Kyle Eckel.

Evans said he understands the need to add depth in the backfield, especially after last season's rash of injuries.

"One week you have three studs in the backfield, the next week you have nothing," he said.

To make room for Jordan on the roster, the Patriots waived receiver Robert Ortiz.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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