Belichick praises James White for his coach-like questions

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Patriots running back James White has developed into a productive and important member of the offense in New England, and he’ll take on even more importance in the short term, given that rookie Sony Michel is week-to-week with a hamstring injury.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, coach Bill Belichick offered high praise for White.

“James was a very productive player at Wisconsin and he filled both a running and a receiving role there over the course of his career,” Belichick said. “I think all of his skills were evident in college. He didn’t really get a chance to play much his rookie year here. That was Shane [Vereen]’s last year. But he’s always been a very hard worker, a very diligent guy, knows his assignments very, very well. Asks questions like a coach would ask them. Has an ability to think really far ahead of what problems could occur on certain fronts or looks or what have you. He does a great job of that. Always has, but as he’s gained more experience he just knows more and is able to continue to push ahead, like Tom [Brady] has at his position or Devin [McCourty] has at his position or Patrick [Chung] at his position. [Dont’a] Hightower, guys like that. They start off good and they just kind of keep going. As they learn more and experience more, they’re able to process more and do more and James has done that. He works very hard in the offseason. He works hard in season, works hard off the field, on the field, knows what his assignments or responsibilities are and does his very best to carry them out. You can’t ask for any more than that.”

Belichick then was asked to explain what it means to ask questions like a coach, and the man who quite often mumbles and grumbles provided a meaningful and lucid response.

“Well, if you were talking to another coach about a play, the coach would think ahead to what are the problems that could come up on this,” Belichick said. “If they do this, if they do that, if they do something else, what if this guy lines up here instead of there? Those are the kinds of things that a player, like all of the ones I just mentioned, [Matthew] Slater in the kicking game, [Nate] Ebner in the kicking game, they ask those same kind of questions. It’s not just, ‘What’s my assignment?’ It’s, ‘OK, well, what if these other things happen? How do we handle it? Are we going to switch it? Are we going to stay with it? Can I make this call? Can I make that call?’ I think when you talk to a coach about a play that’s the way a coach looks at it. He sees the whole play, sees all the issues, ‘Here’s what we’re trying to do but if they took that away from us, what would we do? Would we go to a different play or would we adjust this play? How would we adjust it?’ Things like that.”

That’s one of the reasons why the Patriots have been so good for so long. They can spot players who will behave that way, and they collect them. They nurture them. And they make them into, essentially, a collection of coaches on the field.

37 responses to “Belichick praises James White for his coach-like questions

  1. Now Michel has a hamstring injury?!? Watching the game, it clearly showed he injured his ankle. Then they say he has a knee injury and now it’s a hamstring. Obviously their lying about this injury and it’s much worse then their letting on.

  2. Now if we could only get the PRESS to be so insightful at asking questions……lol yeah right!!!??!!

  3. Shows why BB is far ahead of the rest of the league. He looks at not just talent but football intelligence as factors. Other teams go for the star player who is a raw talent with no football IQ

  4. That’s why Bill tends to go for players with football smarts over those with insane physical skills but not the football IQ to take advantage of them that a lot of teams go for.

    “Obviously their lying about this injury and it’s much worse then their letting on.”

    You’re living in a fantasyland dude. The MRI showed no structural damage and he’s supposed to be out for a couple weeks.

  5. kissbillsrings says:
    October 23, 2018 at 6:28 pm
    Now if we could only get the PRESS to be so insightful at asking questions……lol yeah right!!!??!!
    ————————————————

    They only thing we can count on the media doing is looking for any shred of evidence that the dynasty is falling apart from within.

    Make your own decisions on news from named sources and unaffiliated corroborating sources

  6. greenbaychicksarefat
    Oct 23, 2018, 6:24 PM EDT

    Now Michel has a hamstring injury?!? Watching the game, it clearly showed he injured his ankle. Then they say he has a knee injury and now it’s a hamstring. Obviously their lying about this injury and it’s much worse then their letting on.

    You said this same thing on the last Patriots article. Are really obsessed with the Patriots or is this just a Sony Michel thing. Either way the guy has a leg injury that’s going to keep him out for a few weeks. But since you’re so obsessed with this why don’t you go hang out at Patriot Place and wait for practice to end and then you can scream like a girl for Sony and hopefully he’ll come out and explain everything to you. And just so you know, it was actual Florio that said “hamstring injury” not the Patriots. They’ve said from the start that it’s a knee injury. I would think someone so obsessed with Sony Michel would already know that

  7. pats4life499270119 says:
    October 23, 2018 at 6:31 pm
    White is over looked but always clutch. Reminds me of Kevin Faulk always at the right spot at the right time.
    ——————

    Yes, very reminiscent of Faulk. His blocking isn’t on a par with Faulk’s (whose is?) but his hands are a tad better. The ability to avoid getting hit big and high football IQ’s are mirror images.

  8. greenbaychicksarefat
    Oct 23, 2018, 6:24 PM EDT

    Now Michel has a hamstring injury?!? Watching the game, it clearly showed he injured his ankle. Then they say he has a knee injury and now it’s a hamstring. Obviously their lying about this injury and it’s much worse then their letting on.

    And also, if you’re so obsessed with football players bodies why don’t you ask the NFL why the Colts never listed Andrew Luck’s rib injury a few years ago. He had cracked ribs but was NEVER once listed on the injury report as having any kind of rib injury. And then when the Colts finally came out and told everyone he had cracked ribs the NFL did absolutely nothing. If you’re so obsessed with teams lying about injuries I would think you would be very interested in this

  9. In other words those type players don’t ask stupid questions like the ones from the media that you routinely excoriate Beligoat for not respecting.

  10. FatBaba says:
    October 23, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    Shows why BB is far ahead of the rest of the league. He looks at not just talent but football intelligence as factors. Other teams go for the star player who is a raw talent with no football IQ

    ——-

    There are upsides and downsides to this. He collects a lot of “football” guys, but none of them (except maybe Gronk) are on the high end of athletic ability. That’s especially true at receiver throughout the years. They destroy zones (looking at you, Pittsburgh) due to Brady’s brains and his receiver’s abilities to recognize space, but if a team mans up against them, they don’t have the raw athleticism to create separation even when the protection holds up well. The same is true of their pass rush. They are disciplined against the run, but there’s no “go-getter” that can generate instant pressure.

    Belichik may be the best coach on the balance, but there’s plenty of potholes in his approach.

  11. James is the TOTAL PACKAGE. Great find by BB the GM.
    Dude plays multiple roles and excels. Should be All Pro this year for sure.

  12. Aaron Hernandez…exhibit A in the Belichick doesn’t go for players who can be coaches on the field. He, as all coaches, goes for players that can play. IF the player develops their mind into being like a coach on the field then that is a bonus.

    Exhibit B – Josh Gordon
    Exhibit C – Randy Moss
    Exhibit D – L. Blount

    He doesn’t seek players to develop into coaches on the field, but he likes it when they turn out that way.

  13. I really enjoy watching White play…..he’s a real gem….I just don’t want him to get overused…..
    Now that we know Sony will be back in a few weeks, I’d really like to see the Pats use Cordarrelle Patterson more in the backfield, but used on screens & pitchouts where he is in open space & he can use his talents & speed to possibly break some big plays & spell White for a bit so he stays fresh….. SERIOUSLY, Patterson is a huge asset that doesn’t get used enough out of the backfield….. NO, he’s not a between the tackles runner, Barner can do that for a few weeks….. Let’s see what Patterson can do in space…… the dude is FAST & ELUSIVE…..shame to waste all that ability & athleticism just on kickoffs!!!
    Go Pats!!!!

  14. It’s amusing and sad how that the Patriots success continues to trigger some of you. With that said James White has been solid for NE.

  15. White is still on pace for 104 catches this season, which would be the most ever by a running back. Tremendous and underrated player.

  16. James White showing this article to his agent…

    Hoo boy Imma gettin a raise big time aren’t I?

    Agent to Jimmy. Shush! If coach hears this or finds out about this, you’ll have to take a pay cut and be thankful for it.

    Whom I’m trying to kid. He’s going to make you take a pay cut next season anyway.

  17. Richard Nguyen says:
    October 23, 2018 at 7:30 pm
    Belichik may be the best coach on the balance, but there’s plenty of potholes in his approach.
    ————————
    In the past 17yrs as HC & GM Belichick’s gotten 15 div titles, 8 AFCCG titles and 5 SB trophies. All this in the post-1994 era of Parity Rules (of cap & FA) which are designed to stop dynasties in their tracks. No one else comes close to this. He’s also the last HC-GM to take Browns into the playoffs in 1994 and started 1995 even better until Art Modell pulled the plug. And it was Belichick’s defense at the Giants that won Parcell’s two SB trophies there too (don’t take my word for it, the HoF enshrined Belichick’s Giants gameplan). So just where are these “plenty of potholes” exactly? Keep taking the salt tablets dude.

  18. Sometimes they like football smarts to the detriment of talent. Jordan Richards was a guy like that. Very smart, knew everyone’s assignments. But, was slow to react and often took wrong angles. Have to balance those two things.

  19. It would be really—REALLY—much more convenient for all the knucklehead excuse-makers for it to be the “paid-off” refs, the “biased” league schedule, the “weak” AFC East, a puff of PSI, the warm Gatorade in visitor locker rooms, or even your Aunt Sally to be the reason the Patriots have been so good for so long. That Belichick and Brady…they’re thick as thieves those two….I tell ya—they just must be up to somethin’!!

    The problem for them all is that, well, it just isn’t, and they just aren’t.

    They’ve earned it.

  20. streetyson says:
    October 23, 2018 at 8:32 pm

    In the past 17yrs as HC & GM Belichick’s gotten 15 div titles, 8 AFCCG titles and 5 SB trophies. All this in the post-1994 era of Parity Rules (of cap & FA) which are designed to stop dynasties in their tracks. No one else comes close to this. He’s also the last HC-GM to take Browns into the playoffs in 1994 and started 1995 even better until Art Modell pulled the plug. And it was Belichick’s defense at the Giants that won Parcell’s two SB trophies there too (don’t take my word for it, the HoF enshrined Belichick’s Giants gameplan). So just where are these “plenty of potholes” exactly? Keep taking the salt tablets dude.

    —————-

    Uh, pal, even Bill would admit that he isn’t flawless. He does plenty wrong. He just happens to be right more than any other coach in the league (and probably any other coach in history). You’ve certainly pointed out plenty of what he’s done right. I don’t dispute that at all. But it’s absurd to say that he hasn’t made mistakes or that he’s done poorly at certain aspects of his tenure (such as personnel decisions). He has a ridiculously poor draft record at receiver and at pass rusher, my two main points of contention. That’s indisputable.

    Don’t be one of those knee-jerk sensitive fans that can’t stand even legitimate criticism. Bill may be the greatest, but he isn’t perfect. Don’t defend him against something he himself would not defend.

  21. Yeah you haters are right,he needs to pick players like elway can, qb guru I tell you or how about cleveland.The cowboys?Or any team that has drafted/acquired players THIS Century in order to beat the Patriots.You fans of other teams get excited when the Patriots lose so what does that tell us about your favorite team?

  22. His draft history?Research draft busts over the last 20 years at the positions you mentioned and let me know how many BB has made compared to other teams that usually drafted much higher than he did.

  23. “Exhibit B – Josh Gordon
    Exhibit C – Randy Moss”

    Randy Moss had one of the highest football IQs Belichick had ever seen per his own comments. Moss’ downfall was his selfishness that led to lack of effort at the end of his time with the Pats.

    Gordon has come in and shown a very high football IQ as well, very quickly learning and retaining much of the Pats complex offense. Many veteran receives have failed at this. As with Moss, Gordon’s potential problems have nothing to do with his football IQ.

  24. As a Patriots fan, I must say I’m quite pleased with how Bill has done in the draft considering where he normally gets to pick from & how he is willing to take risks that sometimes work out (Gronk) & sometimes don’t (Hernandez)…..Bill has had to deal with KEY DRAFT PICKS being STOLEN by the Jealous & Envious owners & the incompetence of 345 PARK AVE…… as well as wheel & deal to collect additional picks…. Bill uses all tools available to him to fill his roster with the right people that fit his schemes…..He builds depth & holds his players & staff accountable for their actions or lack there of……
    Contenders year in & year out….. yeah, he’s Horrible, but only if you cheer for a different team!!!!!
    Go Pats!!!!

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