Which Patriots running back will be the next big power runner?
Winslow Townson | Associated Press
With former New England Patriots running back, LeGarrette Blount now playing for the Philadelphia Eagles, a big question remains on the team’s mind: Which running back will be the next power runner?
“Somebody has to play big for us,” said Patriots running backs coach Ivan Fears, “We have enough guys we know can play finesse football. Somebody has to play power football for us. We have to find out who is going to do that.”
Will it be Mike Gillislee? James White? Rex Burkhead? Brandon Bolden? Dion Lewis?
Fears thinks they all are capable of fulfilling that role.
Gillislee is a recent signing from the Buffalo Bills. The 5-foot-11 running back was limited in spring practices with a leg injury, but coach Fears is excited to see what he’s got during training camp.
As for James White - he is considered a passing-game back, but Fears thinks that he, too, could step up as a power runner when given the chance.
“He scored two touchdowns for us in that doggone game, the Super Bowl, so James definitely has the rushing ability, he just has to get some opportunities to do it,” Fears said.
“If we get an opportunity to give him a chance to carry the ball or two, that’s going to be fine. I have no problem with that, I really don’t. We’ll try to do whatever it takes to win the game. That’s what it’s going to be all about.”
Dion Lewis also has a chance to step up.
Lewis was set back when he tore his ACL in 2015. Follow-up surgery issues a year later started him on the physically unable to perform list. Fears knows it takes a while to recover and get back to where you were after something like that, but he definitely isn’t counting Lewis out.
“Let’s put it this way: He’s moving very well. He has been moving very well all offseason – in the OTAs and all that. He looks really good,” said Fears, “But it doesn’t count there. It counts what happens out here now.”
Training camp is officially underway at Gillette Stadium. Over the next few days, fans, players, coaches and more will be getting a closer look at who could be the next big power runner.
Who do you think can keep the chains moving for the Pats?