Sunday, May 11, 2014

Belichick on White: A lot of similarities to Vereen


New England Patriots tailbacks Shane Vereen, Stevan Ridley and Brandon Bolden are all entering contract years, so Saturday, the team acquired a little insurance at the position on the last day of the 2014 NFL Draft.

That prospective insurance policy -- Wisconsin running back James White -- resembles one of the incumbents quite well, according to coach Bill Belichick.

"Yeah, I'd say there are a lot of similarities to Vereen – size wise, skills wise, production," Belichick said Saturday, via

Through his collegiate career, the 5-foot-10, 194-pound White amassed 4,015 rushing yards, including a career-high 1,444 yards on 221 carries (6.5 average) and 13 touchdowns. He also added a running back school-record 670 receiving yards.

"I'd say he's a guy that has shown he has four-down value," Belichick said of his team's second fourth-round pick. "He's been productive in the kicking game, he's been productive catching the ball. He has a high average per carry. He can run inside. He can run outside. He makes good space plays and he can get some tough yards.

"I mean, he's not a big power back. We're not talking about LeGarrette Blount – that's not his thing. But I think there are some similarities to Vereen, absolutely. Vereen had probably had a little more production in the return game when he came out of Cal."

White prides himself on ball security, having fumbled just twice on 754 career touches.

What’s most impressive is White has only fumbled twice in 754 career touches, a statistic that makes him seem like an ideal fit for Belichick, who puts a premium on ball security.

“It’s very important for any running back. Ball security is job security,” White said, via The Boston Globe. “If you want to be on a football team, you have to hold on to the football.”

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