Photo credit: Focus On Sport / Getty Images Sport
Author: Jon Kuzma
The New England Patriots may have lost the league’s rushing touchdown leader in LeGarrette Blount, but that doesn’t mean the Patriots are going to suffer at the running back position. Not only did New England add Mike Gillislee and Rex Burkhead, they also are returning two key players in James White and Dion Lewis. While neither player has been exclusively featured in the lead running back position, both White and Lewis made the most of the limited opportunities they’ve received in the past. That will serve as an audition for the number 1 running back job and expect Bill Belichick to go with one of these guys as his starter because he knows exactly what they are capable of. White and Lewis understand the Patriots offense better than any of the new running backs the team has added and the trust factor is definitely there. On top of that James White is coming off an exceptional Super Bowl performance and truthfully White should have won the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player award. When New England trailed Atlanta by a boatload of points early on, James White was the only player who was producing for the Patriots which essentially kept New England in the game. If White can thrive on the biggest stage in pro sports, there’s no doubt he can carry the load during the regular season. Dion Lewis is no slouch either, when Lewis is on it’s easy to see that the guy is blazing fast and can easily make defenders miss. Now when you compare both players side by side it feels like James White might start to get a little bit of an edge. Not only is White an exceptional passing catching option out of the backfield but Lewis is a little bit more injury prone as well. Ultimately Bill Belichick will want to go with the player he can count on most and while White and Lewis are very similar in playing style, the consistency James White brings to table should earn him the nod this upcoming season. Regardless though, these two players together should bring a heck of a punch in LeGarrette Blount’s absence.
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