If it wasn’t already evident by his frequent and overwhelming praise for Rhamondre Stevenson this season, Bill Belichick really, really likes the New England Patriots’ second-year running back.
During NBC’s broadcast of Thursday night’s Patriots-Minnesota Vikings game, commentators Mike Tirico, Jason Garrett and Tony Dungy shared how Belichick raved about Stevenson during their pregame production meeting, even comparing him to arguably the two greatest players he’s ever coached.
Tirico: “We’re talking about Belichick, guys, how effusive was he in praising the running back, Stevenson?”
Garrett: “It was incredible. He went on and on and on. And Coach doesn’t speak a lot in those production meetings, but he probably talked about Rhamondre for 15 minutes, and he compared his growth and his development in a short period of time to both Tom Brady and to Lawrence Taylor.”
Dungy said Belichick also called Stevenson one of New England’s “most dependable players.”
Stevenson has emerged as an every-down weapon in the Patriots’ backfield, leading the team in rushing while also replacing James White (and an injured Ty Montgomery) as their top pass-catching back. He entered Thursday with 644 rushing yards and 41 receptions, trailing only wide receiver Jakobi Meyers (44) in the latter.
“As much confidence as you could possibly have (in Stevenson), that’s how much we have,” Belichick said last month. “Every player on the team, every coach on the team has total confidence in Rhamondre to do whatever it is we need him to do.”