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Patriots' James White gets first-team reps in practice

The summer of James White rolls on in New England. 

Camp observers, reporters and even Bill Belichick all have downright gushed over the Patriots rookie running back's skill set.

On Wednesday, the train picked up more steam with CSN New England noting White took first-team reps during the Patriots-Eagles joint practice. Receiving weapon Shane Vereen also took snaps with the ones, while incumbent starter Stevan Ridley was relegated to the second team. 

Following May's draft names like Bishop Sankey, Carlos Hyde and Terrance West dominated headlines, but it could be White who has the biggest impact as a rookie. No team transforms its offense as quickly as the Patriots year after year, and there's opportunity with LeGarrette Blount in Pittsburgh and Ridley's well-documented fumbling problems.

"He's a very interesting and versatile player," Belichick said on SiriusXM NFL Radio earlier this month. "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 Wisconsin product had just four carries for nine yards in the Pats' preseason opener, but it sounds like he'll get more work Friday against the Eagles. Of course, the Patriots love to tinker with lineups in practice and try to give everyone a look, so take this all with a grain of salt.  

*The latest "Around the League Podcast" broke down the biggest position battles and ranked the best backup QBs in the league. *

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