FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Quick thoughts and notes surrounding the New England Patriots and the NFL:
1. White’s Analysis: Retired Patriots running back James White is considering breaking into sports media in his post-playing career and is already evaluating his options.
“It feels natural. I’m used to speaking in front of people and I think that would be the smoothest transition for me,” he said. “It would be really cool to do a job that also includes football, because the sport has been with me for 25 years.”
White was a guest analyst for part of the Patriots’ preseason game against the Panthers on Friday night, which he described as a “great” experience. As for his analysis of the current Patriots team, White shared his thoughts with ESPN.com.
On the thorny issue of assistants Matt Patricia and Joe Judge leading the offense despite their lack of experience, White doesn’t see that holding the team back.
“I have a lot of confidence in that because a lot of coaches, especially here, have been training on the defensive side, on the offensive side, they are training different positions. I think that’s the beauty of coaching here – you’ll learn the game from all angles,” he said.
“And Matt Patricia and Joe Judge have seen a lot of football from different angles. I think everything will work. you learn. It’s a learning curve for everyone.”
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White notes changes in the Patriots’ approach (e.g. no more full-back), although he expects the finished product to fans will look largely similar.
“Anytime you have a new offensive coordinator, you’re going to have some things that are the same, some things that are different. You have to see what works,” he said.
“I still think they’re going to have a different approach week to week depending on which teams they’re playing against. I think these guys are doing a great job designing plays and empowering players to be successful. “
Acknowledging that Josh McDaniels’ move to Patricia and Judge is still meaningful, White said he sees the Patriots going through a process of players and coaches working to become more comfortable with one another. “That’s what the preseason is for – to get those kinks out,” he said.
About the Patriots’ offensive staff, which he consistently described as talented, White said he considered the receiving corps extremely underrated.
2. Heat in Las Vegas: The Patriots are in Las Vegas this week. They are scheduled to fly there on Sunday, train as a team on Monday, and then hold joint drills with the Raiders on Tuesday and Wednesday before Friday’s preseason finale. The forecast calls for highs of 103, 105 and 102 to start the week, which could be helpful as the team looks ahead to their regular season opener in Miami.
3. Bracelets for QBs: Patriots quarterbacks have worn playcall armbands during practice and preseason games, which is new and reflects the significant change in the offensive system. So if Patricia or Judge announces a game with his number, the quarterbacks look at the armband for that number and then pass the game on to the group. That’s part of what led to a communications breakdown in the preseason opener when Brian Hoyer burned a time-out.
4. Third-down Back: One thing that caught White’s attention in Friday’s preseason game was that the Patriots didn’t have a specific player to fill his passing back role. The team left Damien Harris, Rhamondre Stevenson and Ty Montgomery on the field in third place on each of their drives in what could be a preview of what’s to come in the regular season. “I think it’s cool that these guys are getting into the flow of the game and getting used to staying out all three downs,” he said. “I think these guys are all extremely talented and can play on all three downs.”
5. Whites in Massachusetts: James and Diana White plan to make Massachusetts their permanent home after James retires from football. They had considered Chicago, but proximity to doctors who have been helping their son Xzavier with food allergies was a factor that made them stay there. “This is a special place for us. We have a lot of memories and have been able to meet and connect with a lot of great people here,” said James White.
6. Mills’ motto: When the Patriots defense huddles before a practice session, safety Adrian Phillips says cornerback Jalen Mills usually sends the same message to the unit: “Championship defence. Championship mentality.” Mills said it’s his way of conveying the mentality he thinks the Patriots should have, and he’s backed his words by putting together a strong training camp. For Phillips, it’s a reflection of Mills’ confidence and desire to “take the next step and be the guy” by filling the void left by JC Jackson’s departure as a free agent.
7. McCourty’s insight: Patriots captain Devin McCourty’s insight into rookie cornerbacks Jack Jones (fourth round, Arizona State) and Marcus Jones (third round, Houston) gives the team promise of both becoming key figures of the high school. McCourty said Jack Jones’ “football instinct” got to him while noting he had “great feet”. McCourty also shared that Marcus Jones sits next to him in meetings and his thirst for learning shows that he has already appeared in several roles such as: B. as a slot cornerback and in an inside security role. “We have a really good rookie group,” said McCourty.
8. Schooler-Ebner Connection: When former Patriots core special teamer Nate Ebner (2012-2019) attended practice last week, players took note that rookie Brenden Schooler (Texas) made sure to introduce himself personally. Schooler’s skills as special teams have helped him establish himself as a leading candidate to extend the Patriots’ 18-season streak of undrafted free agents who make up the initial 53-man roster, and players are looking a bit Ebner in his game.
9. Thornton injury impact. Patriots rookie receiver Tyquan Thornton was ruled out Friday night with a shoulder/collarbone injury and is expected to be sidelined for at least the first month of the regular season. So the likely scenario appears to be that he will be on the initial 53-man roster before moving to short-term IR. That could open the door for Lil’Jordan Humphrey, the team’s leading receiver last preseason (11-133-1), to stay on the roster.
10. Did you know? The Patriots have four players with the surname Jones, with quarterback Mac Jones and cornerbacks Jonathan Jones, Jack Jones and Marcus Jones. It’s the second time in team history that the Patriots have had four players with the same last name; in 2000 it was defense attorneys Ted Johnson, Olrick Johnson, Garrett Johnson and punter Lee Johnson.
https://www.espn.com/blog/new-england-patriots/post/_/id/4825744/retired-rb-james-white-has-high-confidence-in-patriots-offensive-setup-eyes-new-career Why retired New England Patriots RB James White believes in their new-look offense – New England Patriots Blog