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Patriots RB hopeful Travaris Cadet working hard on pass protection

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- There was a moment in Thursday's New England Patriots organized team activity that highlighted one of the primary challenges facing fourth-year running back Travaris Cadet.

The Patriots were working 11-on-11 drills and Cadet was required to step up and block a blitzing rusher. The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Appalachian State alum wasn't as decisive as he needed to be, the oncoming rush disrupted the play, and coaches called for it to be run again.

Cadet was better the second time around.

Pass-protection was the area that Cadet's former coach with the New Orleans Saints, Sean Payton, said would be a work in progress. Payton detailed that Cadet, who was mostly used in a receiver-type role in New Orleans, was only asked to pass-protect about 10-12 times per season.

So it's no wonder that Cadet is still finding his groove in that area on the practice field with the Patriots, who value pass-protection greatly among their backs.

"More and more every day I'm getting comfortable. The more and more I do it, the more you're going to get better at it," he said. "I'm just happy to be here and I want to take advantage of this opportunity."

If Cadet is to do so, and seize the opening created by the free-agent departure of Shane Vereen to the Giants, he knows it starts with pass protection.

"Pass pro is important because if you can't protect your quarterback, he can't get the ball off and get on the same page as the offensive linemen," he said. "Reading a quarterback's ID, and knowing who you have, knowing when to get out so you can get out in a route and not mess up the whole [offense] … it's really becoming comfortable and going into the film room, studying, and when you're away from the facility studying and getting that overtime in so you don't let your teammates down."