Patriots RB Joey Iosefa: Another Diamond in the Rough


The Patriots may have found another valuable unheralded player in RB Joey Iosefa.

Ask anyone who plays fantasy football and they will all tell you the same thing, trying to predict who Bill Belichick will choose to feature in the New England Patriots‘ backfield on a recent basis is impossible. Remember Jonas Gray coming from seemingly out of nowhere last season to rack-up 200+ and four touchdowns against the Indianapolis Colts last season? The next week Gray was placed in Belichick’s dog house and never returned.

Trying to predict what Belichick will do next is enough to drive a person mad. The Patriots placed running back LeGarrette Blount on IR with a hip injury last week, and Brandon Bolden looked to be the guy in line for his carries. The Patriots also flirted with the idea of bringing veteran RB Steven Jackson in to help with the loss, and even signed former second-round pick Montee Ball to the practice squad.

So, Bolden will get the first crack, with Ball and maybe even Jackson being ready to go if needed. Not so fast. With Bolden and receiving back James White being the only running backs listed on the active roster, the Patriots made a move on Saturday. Ball is one of the most productive backs in college football history, but it was not him who the Patriots called on.

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In true Belichick fashion, the Patriots called upon 245-pound rookie full back Joey Iosefa to take a place on the active roster, and in his first game action against the Titans on Sunday, Iosefa was impressive.

At first glance, Iosefa’s 14 carries for 51 yards may not be the most impressive, but he really did do a nice job of running between the tackles. The power running game is an important part of the Patriots’ offense, and without Blount, they do not have a strong power back option. Well, Iosefa stepped into the role rather nicely on Sunday, and has put himself in position to play a larger role in this offense going forward.

The Patriots needed to find a guy who can keep the pile moving and pick up the tough yardage when they need it. Iosefa played that role extremely well at the University of Hawaii, and proved that he has the skills to do the same at the NFL level on Sunday. If you doubt Iosefa’s ability as a power back at all, look no further than this:

That is Iosefa absolutely flattening Titans defensive back Coty Sensabaugh trying to fill the hole. Yeah, that is some serious power.

All in all, it was an extremely successful NFL debut for Iosefa. He stepped up and filled an important role in the Patriots’ offense. His speed and overall athleticism is certainly lacking, but Iosefa is a hard runner who can pick up those extra yards.

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For all we know, Belichick could sign a 43-year-old Jerome Bettis to be the Patriots’ power back next week, but for now Iosefa looks like a solid option for the team. In another move where they have seemingly created a player from thin air, the Patriots may have found another diamond in the rough.