New England Patriots running back James White (28) and running back Stevan Ridley run a drill during training camp in Foxborough, Mass., on Saturday.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Tom Brady has been impressed by rookie running back James White.
“He’s done a great job since he got here,” the New England quarterback said of White, the Patriots’ fourth-round draft pick out of Wisconsin.
“He’s got a real maturity for someone who is just getting out of college. He’s made a lot of really great plays out here.”
White was thought of as being a third down back in New England passing game.
However a few weeks ago, coach Bill Belichick called the rookie “a very interesting and versatile player” and hinted at more than just one down per series.
White had 45 touchdowns and 4,015 yards at Wisconsin.
“I knew when we drafted him everyone really liked him — that’s why he’s here, because everyone thinks that he can contribute to the team and he can make a big impact on the team,” Brady said.
“He’s done that. He’s definitely been someone who’s come out every day and he makes really impressive plays for a young player. ... The more of those guys we have the better we’re going to be collectively.
“That’s what training camp really gives everybody an opportunity to do, because you get the chance and you want to try to go out and show people what you’re capable of. You want go out and surprise people that. ... They didn’t think you were capable of something and end up showing that you can do it. That’s where you gain the trust of your coaches and your teammates.”
White is looking to improve and get ready for the regular season.
“I’m just trying to come out here trying to compete and trying to get better every day,” he says. “I’m just trying to embrace the roles that the coaches put in front of me. Whatever situation or whatever play they put me in on, I’m going to try and execute.”
And he’s confident, saying, “You gotta be confident or you’re not going to be able to get it done. You have to be confident in your abilities.”
Training camp visitor Kevin Faulk, the former Patriot who had a successful career as a third down running back, also likes what he’s seen and heard.
“From my understanding, he’s a very mature kid, a very smart guy,” he said. “That always works in your favor.”
White joins a running backs group that includes Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen and Brandon Bolden. LeGarrette Blount moved to Pittsburgh as a free agent.
One of the highlights on Thursday was White taking a big hit from cornerback Darrelle Revis.
“It’s a part of it,” White said. “It’s football. It’s a physical game. You just gotta get up and bounce back and get to the next play.”
NOTES: The Patriots will induct former cornerback Ty Law into the club’s Hall of Fame in Friday ceremonies that precede a Gillette Stadium workout for season ticket holders. “Special guy ... when you hear the name Ty Law you already know what he was, what he stood for on the football field, and he’s just getting honored for that right now,” Faulk said. ... Added Brady: “He made a lot of big plays for us — it’s good to see him going in.” ... Revis provided another camp highlight, picking off a Brady pass deep in the offense’s territory and returning it for a touchdown. ... Brady turns 37 on Sunday. ... Wide receiver Aaron Dobson, who had a screw inserted during March foot surgery to repair a stress fracture, still hasn’t been cleared to practice and has been working out on his own on the side. ... Special teams captain Matthew Slater practiced for the first time either in OTAs or training camp.
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