James White won’t put the pads on for the New England Patriots again, but he still rides for his old offensive teammates.
On a Friday morning appearance with NFL Network's "Good Morning, Football," the now-former Patriots running back preached patience with his old team's offense amid a mountain of scrutiny.
"I think a lot of people are rushing to judgment," he said. "You've gotta let those guys work. There's a lot of talent on that offense at the quarterback position, offensive line, tight end, running backs, receivers. ... I think Patriots fans will be happy with the product they put out there this year."
In particular, White defended the peculiar, apparently open-ended coaching arrangement Belichick has put together with Matt Patricia and Joe Judge helping lead the offense, noting that Belichick and "Matty" have "coached a lot of football."
He also seemed to downplay outside unease about Patricia and Judge not holding prominent offensive coaching roles before this season: “Not a lot of people realize that a lot of coaches coach a lot of different positions before they get their 'main job.'”
White, of course, might be expected to show loyalty to the only team he played for in his NFL career, which also seemed intent on making sure he was taken care of as he recovered from his injury.
Interestingly, the offense did look improved over its practice performances, though the fact that Mac Jones and the starters didn’t play must be noted.
Also, the Patriots decided to throw more gasoline on the play-calling controversy by having Joe Judge call more plays than Matt Patricia on Friday night and intentionally have a looser coaching operation than they might have when real games start.
But if we’re to take White’s (and Belichick’s) word for it, it’s all part of a process that will reveal itself in time.