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James White embraces leadership role with Patriots, including mentoring Sony Michel

Kyle DaLuz
July 27, 2018 - 12:53 pm
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FOXBORO -- James White is now among the elder statesmen in the running back position room.

White, who was drafted by the Patriots in 2014 out of Wisconsin, is entering his fifth season in New England. Having been tutored by veteran running backs Shane Vereen, Stevan Ridley and LeGarrette Blount among others throughout his time as a Patriot, White is returning the favor.

The 26-year-old running back is the second-longest tenured back on the roster aside from Brandon Bolden, and is transitioning into a mentor for young running backs on the team, including 2018 first-round pick Sony Michel. 

"You try to help them as much as you can. You try not throw too much at him, just help him here and there, then after each rep try and coach him up a little bit on the side," White said of Michel. "You don’t want to give him too much at one time, so he can just go out there and play fast. It’s just football at the end of the day. You just take the coaching points and go out there and play fast. It’s just football."

White is one of several explosive running backs on the Patriots roster as training camp begins. Rex Burkhead, Mike Gillislee and newcomers Jeremy Hill and Sony Michel all will presumably battle it out for roster spots and compete for playing time come the fall.

That competition doesn't stop White from lending a helping hand to the guys in his group.

“I just try to do as much as I can to help the other guys, not even just my group. In the position, the young guys, just talk to them at the lunch table, dinner table. Just try and make them feel at home, feel comfortable. I just try and help them out as much as I can."

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