Patriots

Belichick reveals what's impressed him about rookie Rhamondre Stevenson

Patriots

The New England Patriots selected two players from the University of Oklahoma in the 2021 NFL Draft, and one of them has made a tremendous impact on the team's offense through 13 games.

Rookie running back Rhamondre Stevenson has provided much-needed depth at the position. With veteran James White out for the season and starter Damien Harris banged up on a few occasions, Stevenson has stepped up and been a productive player.

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What's impressed Patriots head coach Bill Belichick most about Stevenson's development?

"Well, I've been impressed by Rhamondre's growth. He's very coachable," Belichick said during a Zoom call with reporters Thursday. "When you ask him to do something, he really tries hard to do it the way that you want him to do it. He's improved greatly in every area of the game. He's a player that has gained a lot of trust and confidence from his teammates, certainly from the coaching staff, really in every area. Running game, the passing game, ball security, blitz pick-up, run reads, run techniques, so forth, using the blockers and understanding the blocking schemes. He just gets better every day he goes out on the field.

"So, he's been great to work with and has really shown a lot of improvement, consistency, consistency in his daily routine and being out on the field just continues to get better, because he is out there practicing every day and trying to take the instruction and coaching that Ivan (Fears) and Vinnie (Sunseri) and Josh (McDaniels) are giving him.

 

"I think anybody on the team would tell you that he's improved tremendously from where he was, let's call it in July, to where he is now. We see it on defense, we see it on offense. He's just one of those players that's just gotten a lot better and he's pretty good to start with, but he just got a lot better in terms of adjusting his skills and his game to the team that he's on and what we've asked him to do."

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Stevenson has tallied 429 rushing yards (4.3 per carry) with three touchdowns in nine games. He's averaging 71 yards per game and 5.08 yards per carry over the last five weeks.

His best game so far was in Week 10 against the Cleveland Browns when he ran for a career-high 100 yards and two touchdowns on just 20 carries in a 45-7 win.

Stevenson's powerful running style makes him tough to tackle. It also wears down opponents, making it easier to rack up chunks of yards on the ground late in games. 

The Patriots used a run-heavy gameplan with great success in their previous game -- a Week 13 win versus the Buffalo Bills on "Monday Night Football" -- and it wouldn't be surprising to see offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels employ a similar plan of attack Saturday night against the Indianapolis Colts.

The Colts are giving up 4.5 yards per carry and don't have a ton of size at the linebacker level. It's a favorable matchup for Stevenson to continue his excellent rookie campaign.