James White on D&K discusses how running backs can help make up for loss of Gronk

Sam Cohn
August 12, 2019 - 2:04 pm

Replacing Rob Gronkowski won't be easy, but in his first Patriots Monday appearance of the season on Dale and Keefe, Patriots running back James White discussed how the offense is approaching that challenge.

“It’s everybody trying to fill in for that guy,” said White. “Obviously there’s no Rob Gronkowskis, there’s only one guy like him, but we have a lot of capable guys doing some exceptional things, so Coach (Josh) McDaniels is going to do a great job designing stuff for the guys that are in that room and we got to go in there and execute it.”

The veteran in New England’s backfield talked about how important it is to be a versatile back. With Gronkowski gone and other questions in the passing game, the ability of each running back to help the team in more ways than one will be crucial to the success of the football team.

Barstool Sports sabermetrician Tucker Boynton put James White in a field of his own for running backs that can do it all. 

And it’s not only White who can be a versatile football player in the Patriots running back group.

“It’s huge for every running back that comes in here to be versatile, it’s not just myself,” White said. “Everyone is getting more confidence maybe doing things we’re good at and maybe doing things we haven’t done so much. I think that’s what training camp is for -- to work on those types of things.”

Sony Michel, Rex Burkhead, Damien Harris, Brandon Bolden, and Nick Brossette are all working to be trustworthy guys that can run, catch, and block so McDaniels can call any play with any guy on the field. 

Patriots safety Duron Harmon also had a chance to join the Dale and Keefe show, adding to the discussion of player versatility on the defensive side of the ball. 

Harmon has mostly played a free safety role and said he’s always searching for ways to be better, including improving his ability to also play strong safety.

“I’ve been working hard trying to play closer to the line of scrimmage and working on my man-to-man skills just trying to understand the real roles of playing strong safety.”