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FOXBOROUGH — Kenjon Barner had a message for James White before the Patriots’ game against the Miami Dolphins Sunday.

“I said, ‘If you break, you better not get caught, you better go.’ He said, ‘OK, I think I can get you, I can get that,’ ” Barner said.

Sure enough, Sweet Feet delivered. More than once. The versatile fifth-year running back put all of his skills on display in the Patriots’ 38-7 victory, amassing 112 yards and two scores.

White’s 16 touches were second on the team to Sony Michel, who took 25 carries for 112 yards and a touchdown. White’s eight carries and eight catches are a season-high for single-game touches and more than double his total against the Lions (seven), after which quarterback Tom Brady said White needed to be used more.


“We all know, it’s no secret that he’s an integral part of this offense,” wide receiver Phillip Dorsett said Sunday. “Getting him going, it just opens doors for everybody and makes it kind of tough for people to pick where the ball’s going.”

White’s first score was a 22-yard scamper in the second quarter, a power run from the gun, following a fumble recovery by the defense. White said he followed guard Joe Thuney, but didn’t have much of a hole, so he peeked to his left.

“There was just [defensive end] Robert Quinn standing there,” White said, “made him miss and Josh Gordon had a good block on the corner, and it was just a good play.”

White’s second score was a 14-yard reception in the back corner of the end zone. Brady, who was hit as he threw it, said he knew where White was running, but that he didn’t have much time to wait for him to get there, so he just let it fly.


“Right when I let it go, I thought, ‘We’ve got a shot,’ ” Brady said. “And I kind of looked under some legs and saw him put his arms up and make a great catch. So, it was pretty sweet. Those are fun ones.”

Said White: “Tom got hit pretty hard, but he just threw it in the perfect spot, and I just found the ball, made sure I had my feet down. Just a great play call. We’ve been working on that and then good to see it executed.”

Coming off back-to-back weeks in which the Patriots’ offense struggled, the unit on Sunday converted on 10 of 15 third downs and produced 10 plays of 14 or more yards, with White contributing on both of those fronts. Both of White’s touchdowns were chunk plays and he converted three third downs, catching three passes for 29 yards.

“It’s hard to drive the ball, a 15-play drive every single time you’re playing against good defenses,” White said. “So when they gave us an opportunity to run it down the field in the running game, you gotta make it, get through the hole, make the safeties miss and make big plays, and we had a couple of those today.”

Teammates have vaunted White for his smarts, his thorough knowledge of the playbook, his dependability, and his teaching ability when new players sign on in New England. Barner, a sixth-year back who signed here two weeks ago, said “pretty much” everything he knows about this offense he has learned from White, including what Brady is looking for on certain routes and what the quarterback expects out of the backs.


“Stuff like that, James has been my guy,” Barner said.

Fullback James Develin said seeing White have success against the Dolphins was great and what the team is striving for.

“It’s just great to have a guy that’s that dependable and that consistent on a daily basis,” Develin said. “Everyone can kind of come in the door and just look at him for a lead by example type of guy. The guy just does everything right it seems and you can always just rely on him in a tough position or a tough moment in a game and he’s come through time and time again, so to have that kind of dependability is awesome.”