New England Patriots: James White is Tom Brady’s Mr. Dependable

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 14: James White
FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 14: James White /

Super Bowl LI hero James White has emerged as Tom Brady’s top target in the New England Patriots offense. 

Julian Edelman is not walking out on that field, but James White is.  Following another solid performance on Sunday, the New England Patriots running back out of the University of Wisconsin has emerged as Tom Brady’s most reliable target so far in the 2017 season.

In Week 2’s 36-20 victory over the New Orleans Saints, White caught eight passes out of the backfield for 85 yards.  He also rushed the ball two times for 11 yards.  Add that up and it was 96 total yards from White. A few of those catches were targets that moved the chain providing further evidence of how much trust Brady has developed in White.

With all the injuries the team has endured at wide receiver, White and the running back group knew they would be relied upon to provide targets for their future Hall-of-Fame quarterback.

"“As a running back group we knew we’d be relied on a little bit more in the passing game,” White said in an appearance on the Ordway, Merloni & Fauria radio show Monday.  “We went into the game with only three receivers, so I think guys accepted the challenge and went out there and tried to make plays.”"

HOUSTON, TX – FEBRUARY 05: James White
HOUSTON, TX – FEBRUARY 05: James White /

Along with White, Rex Burkhead, Dion Lewis and even fullback James Devlin made plays in the Patriots’ passing game.  Like those players, White’s versatility and physical ability to line up as a wide receiver was key in his production as it was during all last season and of course the Super Bowl.

"“I just try to use my quickness,” White said.  “I just try to get into my route and get open as fast as possible.  Running backs today can pretty much do it all: pass, block and run.  Running backs today are versatile.”"

Some Tom Brady praise

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Like previous New England Patriots running backs Kevin Faulk, Danny Woodhead and Shane Vereen, the 25-year-old White has quickly emerged as a player Tom Brady can depend on.

Going as far as calling the versatile running back one of his favorite teammates, Brady praised White’s dependability during key situations and the comfort level he has handing the ball off to him or targeting him in the passing game.

"“Every time [White] touches the ball it’s important,” Brady said, via WBZ.  “He’s just so dependable and consistent and hard-working and tough, and just shows up to work every day just doing the job the best he can with the best attitude.  He’s team-first all the time.  He’s just a great teammate.  And I’ve played with a lot of great teammates, and James is right there at the top.  I just love his effort.  I love his style.”"

Brady’s sentiments are shared by the team as James White was rewarded with a three-year contract extension in the offseason.  His growth into a reliable weapon last season, highlighted by this record-breaking performance in Super Bowl LI shows just how much of a dedicated individual and team player he is.

Next: New England Patriots: 5 offensive playmakers to watch in 2017

With Edelman out for the year, James White is definitely Tom Brady’s Mr. Dependable, that player he knows he can rely on in tough situations on the field.