New England Patriots: James White praises team’s physicality in run game

With a team total of 217 yards rushing on the ground, New England Patriots running back James White credits component for team’s success.

The one word that describes the New England Patriots running back group is versatility.  The one player who comes to mind when you think of that versatility is veteran running back James White.

With just 22 yards on 5 attempts in Sunday’s 21-11 victory over the Miami Dolphins, power running doesn’t necessarily come to mind when it comes to White, but he does have the ability to run between the tackles when he has to.

Averaging 4.4 yards a carry on those 5 attempts, White credits the team’s physicality as a major reason why the overall team rushing attack was so effective.  Not only did they convert on short yardage situations, they basically overpowered the Dolphins defensive line.

With a lack of weapons in the passing game, that sort of physicality on the ground is exactly what the team needs, and James White gave praise where praise is due.

“I think it always starts off with the offensive line, they did a great job with blocking and establishing that we can run the ball this early in the season,” White said following Sunday’s win, via  “We wanted to play physical and I thought we did that.  We obviously still have things to work on but it’s a great start.”

Though no single running back rushed for over 40 yards in the game, the combination of Sony Michel, Rex Burkhead, J.J. Taylor and James White kept the Dolphins off balance.  Not only were they each effective when they got touches, they ran hard behind a physical offensive line led by center David Andrews and guards Shaq Mason and Joe Thuney.

Another strength of the team on the offensive side of the ball, that line will be key to the success of the New England Patriots in 2020 because of that reliance of the running game and also because of the new man under center.

The New England Patriots offense taking on the personality of Cam Newton

In leading the team with 75 yards rushing, Cam Newton gives offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels a new style and element of football to play with.  His overall talent and ability to make plays with his feet should benefit a player like James White, especially with a lot of option plays and screen plays the team ultimately will run with Newton under center.

Again, it will come down to physicality.  When asked about what the Patriots got from Cam Newton in his first game as the main man under center, James White expected exactly what they got and praised the physical aspect of who Cam Newton is.

“I mean that is what he has done his whole career, so I expect nothing less,” White said.  “He is a big physical guy and when the ball is in his hands, he is physical and is able to get a lot of yards out of it so that is a bonus for us.”

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It is also fun to watch.  With second year running back Damien Harris set to return in a couple weeks, the running back depth will only get better.  Along with the threat known as Cam Newton, that physicality James White praised could end up being the MVP on the offensive side of the ball.