New England Patriots running back James White is off to a strong start this season. While 2015 standout Dion Lewis recovers from a torn ACL in his left knee (Lewis is eligible to return from the PUP list in Week 7) White has rushed 17 times for 73 yards and caught 17 passes for 165 yards, changing the pace from power back LaGarratte Blount.
White has flourished by essentially mimicking White’s role from a year ago. Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels praised the shifty third-year back from Wisconsin on a Tuesday conference call.
“He does a lot of things for our offense. He’s unselfish, he studies and prepares extremely hard, he knows his job and he’s willing to do whatever we ask him to do to help us win,” McDaniels said.
“He’s been a valuable guy for us in terms of blitz pick up for the last two years, he’s certainly made a lot of plays out of the backfield in space with the ball and he’s continued to improve as a runner, too. James does a lot of different things, he wears a lot of different hats and we count on James for a lot of important plays,” the coach continued.
“We’re looking forward to continue to try and improve with James as we go through the course of the season. He’s still a young player who hopefully his best football is still in front of him.”
White is coming off his best game of the season, in which he tallied 89 all-purpose yards in the Patriots’ 33-13 win over the Browns. He’s averaging 4.3 yards per carry this season after posting just 2.5 yards per rush a year ago.