PATRIOTS RUNNING BACK JAMES WHITE
Q: Have you ever played in a game with only two running backs?
JW: Yeah, we did it my second year in the league. We played the Jets, and last year we played the Jets, I think just Brandon [Bolden] and Dion [Lewis] played in that game too at the end of the season. So we've done it before.
Q: Do you look at that as a great opportunity to get a lot of work or do you wonder if it's maybe going to be too much?
JW: No, it's definitely an opportunity going into the game with two guys. I say to myself and Sony [Michel], you just want to make the most out of the opportunities that we get. I think we're just trying to capitalize on the opportunities that we get whether it's catching, blocking, running. Just make the most of those reps.
Q: Would you like to run the ball more?
JW: Oh, it doesn't matter to me. For me, it's just doing whatever I can to help this team win whether it's catching, running, blocking. I just want to execute my role every Sunday, which can be different every Sunday. Maybe running the ball more one week and maybe catching the ball more one week. I mean, whatever it takes to win.
Q: Did you watch the Kansas City-Jacksonville game on Sunday?
JW: Yeah, Kansas City's a good football team. Good offensively, defensively and on special teams. It's going to take everything. We're going to have to start fast and play a full four-quarter game because those guys, they're going to compete the whole time.
Q: Do you remember what happened here last year when you played them in the season opener?
JW: Yes, definitely. I mean, we started off pretty fast and then the second half, we didn't play very well as an offense and they did. So like I said, you've got to be locked in for four quarters because it's going to be a game that's going to come down to 60 minutes or more.
Q: In the Jacksonville versus Kansas City game, the Chiefs intercepted a screen pass and returned it for a touchdown. Do you have to be careful when you're using screen passes about their defensive line because they seem very opportunistic?
JW: Yeah, the defensive line did a great job of reading it, intercepted it and ran it back. I think their whole defense, they capitalize on your mistakes whether it's strip-sacks, interceptions, forced fumbles. They do a good job of turning the ball over. No matter what the stats say, how many yards they've given up, they turn the ball over to let you drive it down the field and make you turn it over in the red zone. So like I said, we've got to be able to sustain drives and we haven't not turned the ball over as an offense all season, so it'd be a good week to not turn it over.
Q: You've caught the ball a lot the last two games. Has it been fun being so involved in the offense?
JW: I mean, for me, I always feel like I'm involved whether I touch the ball or not. Like I said, one week it may be catching, one week it may be running, one week it may just be blocking. I think everybody across the board in our offense does a great job of accepting their role no matter how many touches they get.
Q: You've been called one of the smartest people in the locker room. How much of that is preparation and how much of it is innate?
JW: Well, it's a lot of preparation and for me, football has always come sort of naturally to me but at the same time, the things that I don't know, I just try to sharpen up on them and take all the little coaching points, the little minor details and just remember those because those are the things that make a difference whether it's a route detail, blocking detail or what I should be looking for in a specific run read. I just try to pay attention to everything because those little things really matter.
Q: It's a cliché that you can learn it, you can know it, but you really know it when you teach it to someone else. How much of that is a part of it for you?
JW: Yeah, well I always try and help guys if they have any questions, whether it's a new guy coming in like Kenjon [Barner] or Sony if they have a question, just keeping them up to beat on the little things that they need to know. It's always good to help your teammates because you never know who's going to be out there for a specific play and they might not get that rep in practice but they might get it in the game, so every little thing that I can help them with that'll make us better.
Q: On Thursday night against the Colts, you had long drives. How important is it this week to have long drives against the Chiefs because of how explosive their offense is?
JW: That'll definitely be important to be able to string drives together. At the same time, you're not going to pass up on a touchdown if they present the opportunity to you. Just got to be able to score points and sustain drives, not turn the ball over because their offense is explosive and like I said, their defense capitalizes on your mistakes too. It's going to take everything.
Q: What does their defense do on third down to get off the field?
JW: Well, first off they have good pass-rushers like Justin Houston, Dee Ford and the other interior defensive linemen, they're pretty good too and they can switch up looks. Whether it's man or zone, they do a good job of disguising it and you've just got to be ready for anything. You have to adjust and we kind of see how they want to play us after the first couple of drives and kind of see how the game will declare and kind of go from there.
Q: Are there guys you know that have rubbed off on you about how to think about the game and be a smart football player?
JW: Definitely. I've played with a lot of talented running backs and receivers and what not. High school with Gio Bernard, here with Shane Vereen, Stevan Ridley, Brandon Bolden, LeGarrette Blount. Just picking things from their game and seeing how they prepare for the game and the different things that they execute on game day definitely helped me out a lot. I mean, I didn't get to play a lot my rookie year so definitely a learning experience there just watching the tape and seeing what those guys did and see how hard they work to be successful definitely helped me out a lot.
Q: Kansas City is last in the league in yards given up. Do they look a lot better to you on film than what the stats show?
JW: Definitely. The stats don't necessarily mean anything. Like I said, they'll let you drive the ball all the way down the field and force a turnover in the red zone. They do a good job of capitalizing on their opponent's mistakes so it would be a great week for us to not turn the ball over, string drives together, just work together as an offense as a whole.
Q: Considering he missed the preseason, how would you measure Sony Michel's progress from Week 1 to now?
JW: Well he's a guy who's willing to learn. He's working extremely hard. Like you said, he missed preseason so he missed those live reps but I've been saying the more he gets out there, the more confident he'll be and the more comfortable he'll be out there learning the plays, getting the feel for how defenses are going to play him and what not. I'm trying to help him as much as I can, not throw too much at him, but allow him to go out there and play with confidence. He's a good football player so he'll continue to get better and better.
Q: Is there going to be a wager between you and Tom Brady on the Michigan-Wisconsin game?
JW: We haven't talked about that yet but we'll get to that later in the week.
Q: Are you going to watch the game?
JW: I'll definitely watch the game after meetings and everything. Hopefully we come out on top.
Q: You beat Michigan when you played for Wisconsin.
JW: Yeah, we beat them pretty good my freshman year. I think we only threw the ball like one time in the second half so handled them pretty will.
Q: You ran the ball a lot in college. Did you ever envision this type of role in the passing game for yourself?
JW: I've always felt confident in my pass-catching abilities even though I didn't do it as much in college. I did it in high school and even during the offseason and stuff, I would run routes with the receivers and just try to learn what they can do because I always felt confident in my ability to do that. We ran a lot of screens in college though so I always felt comfortable and confident with that. Obviously I didn't think I would be catching as many passes as I do but I mean, things change and I've accepted my role and just go out there and execute to the best of my abilities.
Q: How do you think Patrick Mahomes measures up to Tom Brady?
JW: I mean, I'm no quarterback guru but he's a good football player. Like I said, he has a strong arm, he can extend plays and you can just tell he's continued to grow each and every week.
Q: Is there extra pressure to score more points this week considering how many they score?
JW: Well I think it's always important for us to score points, capitalize on our defense's turnovers, be able to string drives together. You never really know how the game's going to go, but we're definitely going have to score points this week.
Q: Is it a weird feeling to go into a game where the target is more on the other team instead of the Patriots for once?
JW: Well, I mean their target is still going to be on us and our target is going to be on them. Like I said, it's two good football teams, Sunday Night Football, it'll be a great atmosphere. Both teams are going to come in ready to go and just got to be ready to go from the start, start fast and play a tough, physical football game.
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