James White speaks on Patriots having nearly 100 code words on offense
Former New England Patriots running back James White recently spoke about the incredible mental tests he faced as a younger player at OTAs with Josh McDaniels overseeing the offense.
In many ways, his story gives a bit more insight into what happens behind closed doors and what the 2023 rookies might currently be experiencing with the Patriots.
One season in particular, there were nearly 100 code words for the Patriots offense when White was in the running back room. He talked about walking into the room and seeing a dry erase board full of information.
“I remember, probably like my third or fourth year in our running back meeting room, we had like a whole dry erase board just like full of words—plays one way, plays the opposite way, words to flip the play,” said White, when speaking with Andrew Callahan on the Pats Interference Football Podcast. “It was just a lot of information, but then when the season came around, we probably used like the same 10 or so. Obviously, week to week, they would add some new ones based off the team we were playing.
“OTAs is a test run in a sense to see what guys can do, what guys can retain the most information, what guys are versatile, what backs can potentially learn the sub-back role at this point, what receivers can learn x, z, f—how multiple can you be?”
White is easily one of the greatest high IQ players to ever play for the Patriots’ organization. That’s obviously saying a lot considering the long list of greats throughout franchise history that fit that mold.
But White’s ability to adapt to a multitude of different roles and execute in the biggest moments is the reason why he’s a future Patriots Hall of Famer. If there’s a player for the young rookies to model after, it would undoubtedly be the legend known as “Sweet Feet”.
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