New England Patriots: Rex Burkhead adjusting nicely to the ‘Patriot Way’

CINCINNATI, OH - JANUARY 1: Rex Burkhead /

The New England Patriots have a new running back in town and he has already adapted to the “Patriot Way.”

When it comes to running backs, the New England Patriots will have a logjam at the position.  Each player brings a different element to the team, but no player fits the Patriots mode of running backs more than Rex Burkhead.

He can run, he can catch, he can play special teams.  In all, the versatility Burkhead brings to the team made him already the perfect Patriot when he signed a one-year deal in the offseason.

The former Cincinnati Bengals running back will compete for playing time, but is already ahead of the game in his approach.  Speaking to WBZ-TV’s Steve Burton, the 5-foot-10, 210-pound running back has already adapting the team’s trademark motto as he enters training camp with his new team.

"“Keep your mouth shut, do your job,” Burkhead said in the interview.  “Work hard and come in and make sure you’re getting the job done.”"

CLEVELAND, OH – DECEMBER 11: Rex Burkhead /

Coming off one of his more productive seasons in his NFL career, Burkhead knows he can’t afford to get comfortable playing under his new coach, Bill Belichick.  He understands hard work and bringing it on a daily basis will earn him playing time and respect from the coaching staff and his teammates.

"“He brings out the best in us,” Burkhead said of Belichick.  “The way he does that is just, it’s unreal.  He makes sure that every day you’re challenged, that you’re not coming and just going through the motions.  He makes sure you’re uncomfortable, and by doing that, making sure you’re on top of your game.”"

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Rex Burkhead will have a ton of competition entering camp.  With the addition of Mike Gillislee to go along with Dion Lewis, James White, D.J. foster and Brandon Bolden, the 27-year-old veteran can’t afford to get complacent.  He will have to battle it out to prove he can be a contributor on a defending Super Bowl champion team.

Burkhead on Tom Brady

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Like many playmakers who join the New England Patriots, Burkhead is excited to share the field and catch balls from Tom Brady.

When asked about the future Hall-of-Fame quarterback, Burkhead marveled at the ideal of playing with No. 12 and lauded the competitiveness he brings to the field and to the players around him.

"“I’ve always had the most respect for him, just from his leadership.  You can tell from his eyes the competitiveness he has every single time he steps on that field,” Burkhead told Burton.  “Now to be playing with him and working with him, it’s really neat.”"

In summary, I think Patriots fans are going to love Burkhead.  His playing style, along with his versatility will echo reminders of versatile running backs like Kevin Faulk, Shane Vereen and Danny Woodhead.  He also brings a more physical presence to the field that those players didn’t particularly have.

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Add that to his running and catching skills and Rex Burkhead could become a player who sees a lot of time on the field.