The New England Patriots running back group could force Bill Belichick to make some tough decisions as he finalizes the roster for the 2021 season.
Damien Harris, who Belichick revealed could be featured in the lead back role, leads the Patriots’ unofficial depth chart. First-rounder Sony Michel, veteran pass-catching back James White, second-year back J.J Taylor, 2021 fourth-rounder Rhamondre Stevenson and veteran Brandon Bolden round out the group.
It’s a position group that has gained praise from Belichick, who called it a “great situation.”
Harris seems to agree.
“It is fantastic,” Harris said Monday during a video conference with reporters. “I can’t speak enough about how great it is to be a part of that room. A group full of special guys on and off the field. Seeing guys doing so many different things well on the field, it obviously helps our team, helps our offense. That’s what we want to do.”
“We work every day trying to be the best position group that we can be, in order to help this team be successful,” Harris continued. “We’ve got a lot of great guys that work extremely hard, that are willing to do whatever it takes in order to help this team be successful. Having everybody be able to buy in and just put their heads down and grind, and come together each and every day to do our part in this offense, it’s been special so far.”
With four of their six running backs — Taylor, Stevenson, Michel and Harris — contributing in variety of snaps Thursday, the Patriots ran for 207 yards (4.7 yards per carry) against the Philadelphia Eagles. Taylor was the leading rusher against the Eagles (12 carries, 93 yards, touchdown) while Stevenson (10 carries, 127 yards, two touchdowns) impressed during New England’s first preseason game against the Washington Football Team.
NESN.com’s Zack Cox has the Patriots keeping five of the six aforementioned running backs on his latest 53-man roster projection.