James White named Patriots captain in fifth season

New England Patriots running back James White may have scored a game-winning touchdown in a Super Bowl but when coach Bill Belichick makes you a team captain, that's when you know you've arrived.

White is entering his fifth year in the NFL and will serve as a captain for the first time in 2018 along with safety Patrick Chung (also a first-time captain), quarterback Tom Brady, safety Devin McCourty and center David Andrews.

"It's definitely an honor to be elected by my teammates and to be a captain of the team," White told NESN on Friday. "For me, it's just try to lead by example, try to do things the right way, and at the same time, just go out there and perform every weekend and give the team the best I have."

Belichick says White has earned the honor for his dependability on and off the field.

"He's earned that confidence and trust from his teammates and his coaches by doing it on a consistent basis," Belichick said, adding, "There's no real magic to that. It's just going out there and being consistent and dependable. He's done a great job of it."

White's touchdown in the Patriots' historic Super Bowl LI win over the Atlanta Falcons came on the ground, but it's in the passing game where he has developed into a valuable offensive weapon for Belichick. White has 116 catches for 980 yards and eight receiving touchdowns the last two seasons. That's quite a jump from White's rookie year when he only saw action in three games and accounted for just five receptions and 23 yards.

"James carried the ball a lot at Wisconsin. He was involved some in the passing game. His development in the passing game has grown as he's had more experience and more opportunities in it here," Belichick said. "I think when you look at it in that context, that's the explanation. Not that he couldn't do it, he just has more experience and more opportunity to do it."

White figures to be targeted a lot Sunday when Texans pass rushers J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney come to Foxborough.

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