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Is James White the secret weapon for the Patriots?

Only eight teams in the league ran the ball more frequently than the Patriots last season.

New England's deep stable of backs saw Stevan Ridley, Brandon Bolden and Shane Vereen attack teams on the ground, with LeGarrette Blount surging down the stretch as tackle-breaking hammer.

Blount is out the door to Pittsburgh, but Bill Belichick is already talking up the newest addition, fourth-round rookie James White out of Wisconsin.

"It's been good working with James White. He's a very interesting and versatile player," Belichick told Sirius XM NFL Radio this month, per's Mike Reiss.

"He does a good job in the passing game and in the running game -- both inside and outside. Blitz pickup -- we have a pretty extensive offense for him to learn, but he's working hard at it. We'll just let him go and see how it goes, but I think he has the ability to compete on all three downs, in both the running game and the passing game."

The takeaway here is that White is seen as a weapon who can stay on the field for more than just passing downs, a message echoed by Tom Brady:

"In the first few days of camp, it's been clear that rookie running back James White has exceptional skills and moves with the confidence of a veteran," wrote Zuri Berry of The Boston Globe. "He is quickly becoming one of the camp's top phenoms and is the team's leading rookie."

Talked about as a Kevin Faulk type, White's 5-foot-10, 205-pound frame is smaller than what the Patriots typically draft as lead-back material. Still, no team in the league recreates itself on offense as frequently: Looking for a "type" of Patriots back is a fool's game.

If White -- who averaged 6.2 yards per carry in college -- can pick up New England's constantly evolving playbook, he's a candidate to see early-season action and possibly put Bolden on the roster bubble.

The latest Around The League Podcast talks about the good and bad out of Cowboys camp, then plays the "What's More Likely?" game.

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