Rhamondre Stevenson has come a long way since the start of his first NFL training camp.
The New England Patriots' rookie running back didn't exactly receive a rave review from RB coach Ivan Fears earlier this month. Fears was asked what he liked about Stevenson, and his response spoke volumes.
“What do I like about him? He’s here. I like that he’s here,” Fears told reporters on Aug. 4. “Other than that, everything’s got to improve. That’s what we have to get done. He’s got a lot to learn. He’s talented, we’ll see what he can do in the games, but right now, he’s got a lot to learn. A lot to learn.”
The Oklahoma product has since flashed in both of the Patriots' preseason games. Between the two matchups against the Washington Football Team and Philadelphia Eagles, Stevenson tallied 25 carries for 193 yards and three touchdowns.
Fears' comments came shortly after Stevenson returned to camp from the non-football injury list. On Sunday, Fears revealed Stevenson's absence was due to him failing his conditioning test.
“He has improved his status tremendously from where he was,” Fears told reporters. “If you remember, he couldn’t even get started on the right day, he couldn’t quite finish the conditioning test. So he started out in the tank. He has climbed out of there.”
Stevenson's improvement certainly bodes well for a Patriots running back room that's sitting pretty heading into the 2021 campaign. The promising rookie joins a depth chart that also currently consists of Damien Harris, James White, Sony Michel, J.J. Taylor and Brandon Bolden. At least one of the six is likely to be cut when the roster is trimmed to 53.
Stevenson will have one more chance to show off his potential when the Patriots take on the New York Giants in their final preseason game next Sunday.