Mac Jones Reveals Message For Patriots’ Rookie Running Backs

Jones had words of encouragement for the pair of backs


Dec 13, 2022

With Damien Harris sidelined for Monday night’s game against the Arizona Cardinals, the New England Patriots offense was put in an even more dire situation when Rhamondre Stevenson exited early due to injury.

Without Harris and Stevenson, it put a pair of unproven rookie running backs in Kevin Harris and Pierre Strong Jr. into the spotlight. And they were up to the challenge in the must-win situation.

Each gave some life to New England’s inept attack as they both found the end zone for their first career rushing touchdowns in the 27-13 win at State Farm Stadium. Kevin Harris finished with 26 yards rushing on eight carries, while Strong notched a team-high 70 yards on the ground off of five totes.

The two certainly didn’t look overwhelmed by the big-time moment, maybe perhaps due to words of encouragement they received from second-year quarterback Mac Jones, who was in the ear of both backs, especially reminding Kevin Harris of his collegiate pedigree.

“It was a little bit of a hectic injury game for us, but you can’t control those things,” Jones told reporters following the win, per team-provided video. “Obviously, ‘Mondre went down. He’s one of our best players. Those guys stepped up and obviously with Damien out, they had to step up. The thing I told them, for Kevin, ‘It’s just like SEC football. So, go out there and do your thing. You’ve played against really good teams and that’s what it is.'”

Harris, a sixth-round pick by the Patriots, starred at the University of South Carolina, where the sturdy 5-foot-10, 220-pound back led the SEC in rushing with 1,138 yards during the 2020 regular season as sophomore.

Strong doesn’t have the SEC on his résumé, with the just-turned 24-year-old playing his college football at South Dakota State. The Patriots selected the shifty Strong in the fourth round. And even though Strong had just one carry prior to Monday night on the season, Jones keep the message the same for Strong.

“And Pierre, it’s the same thing. A young guy, but he’s really fast, uses his speed well,” Jones said. “So, they did a great job and they’re going to have to step up again.”

Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images
Boston Bruins goalie Linus Ullmark
Previous Article

How ‘Unpredictability’ Led To Linus Ullmark’s Success For Bruins

Hockey stick
Next Article

Relive Jillian Dempsey’s First Hat Trick With Boston Pride

Picked For You