Patriots running back James White has been a reliable option for Tom Brady so far in the 2018 season.
With 74 receptions through 12 games, White is tied with Giants running back Saquon Barkley for second in the NFL in catches out of the backfield (Christian McCaffrey is first with 80).
The key difference with the other two backs is that White plays less (58 percent of New England’s offensive snaps), sharing the workload with Sony Michel, Cordarrelle Patterson and – just back from injury – Rex Burkhead.
On Sunday, during the Patriots’ 24-10 win over the Vikings at Gillette Stadium, White was mic’d up by NFL Films.
A few observations:
- Brady extolled his offensive teammates to “have some fun” in the pregame.
- White shook hands with an NFL official before the game, with the referee noting that he’s “always ready to go.”
- Burkhead’s return was greeted with enthusiasm from White (“Rex back!”). The two later talk about how Burkhead missed the game when he was out with an injury.
- Brady can be heard telling White “checkdown” during a play-action sequence, followed by a short pass to White.
- On a third and one, White was stopped short of the first down on a direct snap (a Josh McDaniels call that Scott Zolak wasn’t a fan of). White noted that “I thought it was a [defensive] tackle at first. Saw my life flash before my eyes.”
- White was excited for Patriots fullback James Develin to score his second touchdown of the game. “Hell yeah, JD.”