RB James White taking 'more active role' in run game
James White carried the ball 22 times for 56 yards, appearing in 14 games. He is a running back who, clearly, did very little running.
Expect that to change in 2016 as White fills in for Dion Lewis, who reportedly will begin the year on PUP.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Monday that White has been "very dependable, very consistent" entering his third year.
"I think he has worked on his role in the running game, carrying the ball, which he did a lot of in college and hasn't done a lot of here," Belichick said. "(He) was mainly a passing game player last year and didn't play two years ago, his rookie year. He was mainly a passing game player last year, but he has taken a more active role in the running game this year. So he continues to develop, had a good run on the two-point play against New Orleans."
As Belichick pointed out, White ran the ball plenty in college, carrying 221 times for 1,444 yards as a senior at Wisconsin. Belichick added White ran between the tackles but his run skills need refinement for the NFL, however, he's taking more reps running the ball. The Pats likely want the threat of the run while White is on the field rather than giving away the play is a pass if White remains a one-dimensional back.