In the ongoing discussion of the Patriots’ offense heading into the 2022 season, James White joined with those urging patience.
White, 30, announced his retirment on Thursday from after eight seasons in the NFL (all spent in New England).
On Friday, he joined NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” to reflect on his career, as well as offer some thoughts on the current Patriots.
Asked about the team’s new offensive setup, the former running back endorsed Patriots coaches Bill Belichick, Matt Patricia, and Joe Judge.
“I think a lot of people kind of rush to judgement when it comes to all that,” he said of the offense. “Bill’s coached a lot of football. Matt [Patricia’s] coached a lot of football. So has Joe Judge. You just have to let those guys work. A lot of coaches coached a lot of different positions before they ended up being an offensive coordinator. They could’ve coached on the defensive side of the ball first. I don’t think a lot of people realize that.”
Beyond coaching, White said he believes in his former teammates.
“There’s a lot of talent on that offense, from the quarterback position, offensive line, tight end, running backs, receivers — they’re very deep at the receiver position,” he added.
“I think Patriots fans will be happy with the product they put out there this year,” White said of the offense.
Looking back on his time in New England, White — a 2014 fourth-round pick — remembered having to wait his turn to get on the field.
“I was itching to be out there my rookie year,” White recalled. “Didn’t get the opportunity, but that next year I wanted to do whatever I could to get out there and contribute. I ended up getting my opportunity and wanted to just take it and run with it.”
Asked about his most famous moment, scoring three touchdowns (including the game-winner) in Super Bowl LI, White acknowledged that he thought the game was lost when the Patriots fell behind 28-3 to the Falcons in the third quarter.
“I mean you definitely feel like it’s over, that’s for sure” White admitted. “But for me, that was my first opportunity to play in a Super Bowl, and I definitely didn’t want to go out like that. I just wanted to do everything I could to fight, scratch, and claw to help us get back into the football game.”
Jason McCourty, White’s former teammate (now a co-host of “Good Morning Football”), joked about how little the running back said during meetings.
“But this guy spoke volumes with his actions, and other people around him felt it,” McCourty added.
As for the possibility of making a future comeback, White dismissed any notion of an NFL return.
“I don’t think I’ll be doing that,” he explained. “Like I said, [I] went through a pretty serious injury.”
“I think I have to listen to my body and do what’s best for it.”