James White is one of the most respected players in the New England Patriots locker room, and it isn't difficult to see why.
White, an offensive captain, has embraced and excelled at his role since being drafted by the Patriots out of Wisconsin in 2014. The pass-catching back often has been commended by his teammates for his professionalism and has been a true leader both on and off the field Just ask fellow Pats running back Damien Harris.
Harris spoke to reporters on Thursday about what he's learned from White in his first NFL season and what he admires about the three-time Super Bowl champion.
“I can’t even put into words how much you can learn from a guy like James White,” Harris said. “First of all, being a professional, the way he takes care of his business, the way he comes to work every day with a mentality of being a leader and a go-to guy that we can depend on, and he never lets us down.
“I think that’s also a testament to the way that he leads, the way that he approaches the game and just the type of person that he is. He shows up to work every single day, does his job, does it well, rarely ever makes any mistakes and is just a guy you can (point) to and say, ‘That’s what this team is supposed to be about.’ His toughness, the way he approaches the game mentally, physically, the way he takes care of himself, keeps himself available and then goes out there and does his job.
“Just for short, I think having a guy like that to look up to has been helpful in my development as a player, and I really look up to him a lot. And he knows that. I tell him every day every chance I get. James White is definitely a guy you can say, ‘Yeah, I want to be like James White when I grow up.'"
Even though White hasn't been as utilized this season as he's been in years past, his presence in New England's locker room is undoubtedly important. With Rex Burkhead done for the year with a torn ACL, we'll likely see White take on a larger role over the next few weeks.
Harris and White will head out west on Sunday as the Patriots (5-6) will take on the Los Angeles Chargers (3-8).