New England Patriots running back James White has emerged as a leader on his team. That role figures to expand in 2020 with the exit of legendary QB Tom Brady.
Despite Brady’s departure for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, White has voiced his confidence in head coach and general manager Bill Belichick.
James White Believes in Bill Belichick
In an interview with Boston.com, White said:
Coach Belichick will do a great job of preparing us no matter what the situation may be. Things may be a little faster paced because we’ll be missing some of the OTAs, things of that nature. Completely confident in what he’ll have prepared for us. Myself and all of the other leaders do a good job of making sure everybody’s trying to stay in shape, staying up fresh on the offense, defense, special teams, so whenever we can get back going it’s not everybody slowing into everything, we’ll kind of hit it at a fast pace.
The 28-year-old has spent all six of his seasons in the NFL with the Patriots. While he’s never reached 1,000 yards rushing in a season, he has been used more as a receiver than a runner. White has become a valuable member of the team because of his versatility and leadership.
His voice and demeanor will matter in the team’s locker room, and it appears he will be on one accord with Belichick and his staff.
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James White Will Not Lower His Expectations for the 2020 Season
White has been a part of three Super Bowl champion teams. He’s seen more winning in six seasons than most players see in an entire career. It sounds as if he has every intention and expectation for the team to consider their winning ways.
Despite the team suffering some obvious losses on both sides of the ball, White is still speaking confidently about the upcoming campaign.
Expectations don’t change. As soon as you step into that building, you’re expected to compete at a high level, be dependable, be a great teammate. This is a, ‘What have you done for me lately?’ league. So you have to come back in and restart over, refresh, and show your teammates that you’re reliable and that you can compete — for 60 minutes, on the practice field, whatever it is — so we can build those relationships and build that reliability each and every time you go out there.
White has never carried the ball more than 94 times in his career. However, in 2020, the Patriots could lean more heavily on the running game. They will likely be turning the QB position over to Jarrett Stidham, a second-year pro who has only thrown four passes in his career during the regular season.
White will still be a safety valve in the passing game, but he might also be asked to be a part of a running game on a team with a different identity than it has had recently. Still, no matter the approach, White will trust his coach’s decisions.