James White sees big season ahead for Patriots RB Rhamondre Stevenson

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Fast-hit ideas and notes across the New England Patriots and NFL:

1. Rhamondre and RBs: When former Patriots operating again James White (2014-21) assesses the staff’s personnel at his outdated place, he attracts a hyperlink to the previous.

“It nearly jogs my memory of earlier than I acquired to the Patriots once they had Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen [in the early 2010s]and Danny Woodhead, Kevin Faulk and others have been gone,” he mentioned. “Again then it was like, ‘That is your backfield now.’ I really feel like that’s the transition there now.”

The transition is a results of Damian Harris signing with the Payments in free company, and one potential substitute for him, James Robinsonbeing launched three months after signing this spring.

White believes Rhamondre Stevenson is primed for an additional heavy workload in his third NFL season.

“It’s not so typically as a Patriots operating again that you just’re on the market that many snaps,” White mentioned after Stevenson logged 66% enjoying time final season and totaled 1,040 yards and 5 touchdowns on 210 carries. “[Coach] Invoice [Belichick] loves that man, so he simply has to capitalize on the chance.”

Whereas the 6-foot, 225-pound Stevenson is the clear-cut No. 1 choice, there’s a stage of uncertainty with unproven personnel behind him.

That has sparked hypothesis in some circles that Belichick may take into account including to the ranks, with Dalvin Cook the highest-profile free agent choice obtainable. White mentioned he can be stunned if that occurs, leaving a gap for the likelihood solely within the occasion of an harm to Stevenson.

Thus, White views coaching camp as a vital time for nine-year veteran Ty Montgomery (restricted to 1 recreation final season by a shoulder harm), third-year runner J.J. Taylor (5-6, 185) and second-year gamers Pierre Strong Jr. (5-11, 205) and Kevin Harris (5-10, 225) to show they’re worthy complementary choices to Stevenson, who wore down a bit on the finish of final season.

“I see a bunch of gifted younger guys after which a savvy veteran in Ty [6-0, 216]if he can keep wholesome, to type of lead these guys alongside,” White mentioned. “Being round him just a little bit final yr, in OTAs and coaching camp, [Ty is] a man who seems like he’s nonetheless attempting to show himself and feels he has rather a lot left within the tank … he simply hasn’t fairly had a real alternative.

“With Invoice O’Brien coming again [as offensive coordinator]they’ll in all probability get again to having a ‘sub again,’ and I really feel like he’ll be the man to take that on in the event that they don’t have Rhamondre tackle the total load.”

White shall be watching carefully in coaching camp to see how Robust — the South Dakota State alum who performed simply 51 snaps as a rookie after being drafted within the fourth spherical — responds to a full yr within the staff’s system. Whereas the staff’s offseason program formally ended June 16, Robust caught round final week to proceed his exercises at Gillette Stadium.

“Clearly, he has the pace. It’s in all probability simply the psychological a part of it. Coming in as a rookie, there’s a lot to study and, type of like myself [in 2014]he nearly had a redshirt yr,” White mentioned.

“He’s going to have rather a lot thrown at him in coaching camp. They’re going to check him. Go away him in a few of these preseason video games to see what sort of load he can settle for, if he can decide up the blitz, run between the tackles. If he’s capable of present what they count on, he’ll be proper there.”

White added that Taylor additionally has a long-awaited likelihood to carve out a extra steady position, and cautioned anybody in opposition to overlooking Harris, final yr’s sixth-round pick of South Carolina.

“Kevin is a bodily runner,” he mentioned. “Whenever you have a look at him, you may not assume a lot of him. However he’s a great participant, he will get downhill and is rather a lot sooner than you assume.”

2. White’s view: White, who was a customer at Patriots follow throughout obligatory minicamp, was requested for a big-picture takeaway. His reply: “It seemed aggressive. The offense seemed extra fluid this yr at this level. It appeared like guys have been energetic on the offensive facet. The ball wasn’t hitting the bottom too many instances. The operation seemed prefer it was in place — guys have been getting as much as the road of scrimmage and going — and that’s what you’re used to seeing from a Patriots-type offense.”

3. OT considerations?: One level quarterback Mac Jones and others made all through the spring is that it’s arduous to get a real analysis with out pads. So an early key in coaching camp, as soon as the pads come on after the preliminary ramp-up interval, shall be how the offensive line holds up.

For all of the discuss the potential of including receiver DeAndre Hopkinswho would clearly assist — a case might be made that offensive deal with is the Patriots’ largest query. With Trent Brown seemingly trending within the mistaken course after lacking the primary day of obligatory minicamp following an prolonged absence all through voluntary OTAs, Calvin Anderson, Riley Reiff and Conor McDermott have been the highest three OTs in spring practices.

4. Jack Jones’ standing: The Patriots’ first follow of coaching camp is scheduled for July 26, and one fashionable query on social media is whether or not cornerback Jack Jones is predicted to be there after he was arraigned last Tuesday on gun charges. Jones is not due again in court docket till Aug. 18, so at this level with the staff sticking by him, why wouldn’t he be there for the beginning of coaching camp?

5. BB & thirty third Workforce: Belichick went one-on-one with the thirty third Workforce web site in a function referred to as “Get to Know Bill Belichick.” Themes included his respect for Paul Brown; coaches he loved competing in opposition to; how soccer has developed over his tenure; particular groups and the way kicking has been an instrumental a part of the historical past of the sport; and his philosophy of hiring younger coaches, growing them and selling from inside. Belichick mentioned within the interview that if he wasn’t teaching, he would have pursued a enterprise profession.

6. They mentioned it: “I’m telling you proper now, Mac Jones goes to be Professional Bowl-caliber quarterback within the very close to future, whether or not it’s this yr or within the subsequent couple years. He’s that good.” — ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit on “The Pat McAfee Show.

7. RB market: White sympathizes with franchise-tagged operating backs Josh Jacobs (Raiders), Saquon Barkley (Giants) and Tony Pollard (Cowboys) of their hopes to land profitable longer-term offers. “It’s undoubtedly powerful to see as a operating again, the market appears to be declining,” he mentioned. “I nonetheless really feel we’re nonetheless important items of the offense. You block, run, catch the ball — serving to in all elements and touching the ball 20 instances a recreation, generally extra.”

8. Gino for Corridor: Why isn’t late Patriots nice Gino Cappelletti within the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame? It’s a great query, with John Turney of the Talk of Fame website making the case that it’s lengthy overdue. No argument right here.

9. Russ’ take: Former Patriots tight finish Russ Francis (1975-1980, 1987-88), as soon as known as the “all-world tight finish” by Howard Cosell on “Monday Evening Soccer,” informed the “Pats from the Past” podcast what he believes separates the very best tight ends in historical past: these with “full” abilities — blocking, the pace to get downfield and the fingers to catch the soccer. He mentioned that’s the reason he marveled at former Patriot Rob Gronkowski.

10. Do you know? Since 2010, there have been 27 particular person 1,000-yard seasons by tight ends, based on ESPN Stats & Info. From 1970 to 2009, there have been 24.

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Revealed : 2023-06-26 12:21:12

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