New England Patriots running back Rhamondre Stevenson sees a little bit of himself in Patriots rookie Pierre Strong Jr.
Stevenson has fully cemented himself as a key piece in the Patriots’ running back room. He has shown his worth early this season, being one of the only bright spots in the team’s loss to the Miami Dolphins in the opener.
He followed that up with a performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers that saw him average 5.2 yards per carry. Those worried about a sophomore slump for the running back don’t appear to have anything to be afraid of.
Stevenson sees similarities between himself and rookie fourth-round draft pick Strong Jr. Both running backs have a lot in common, particularly the similar trajectory their rookie campaigns have taken them. Stevenson struggled during the first couple of months of his rookie year last year, and Strong sat out Week 1 and was a backup kick returner in the second week of the season.
Stevenson is preaching patience for the rookie, as he told Zack Cox of NESN.com.
“In a way, I kind of see myself last year in him. Just trying to learn everything and string every practice along and get better,” said Stevenson. “…Oh, my god. I feel for all the rookies when they’re not getting the full picture, because I’ve talked to all those guys (and told them) I’ve been there before.
“Offense, defense — I know how it is being the new guy just trying to fit into the system and just trying to show your worth, and that’s hard to do when you don’t know the playbook all the way and things like that. So I just tell them to focus on the playbook and everything else will come.”
Strong enters a crowded backfield for the Patriots with Damien Harris and Stevenson headlining the position. Perhaps this is just a bump in the road for the rookie. At the very least, his teammates can relate to his current situation.