Bill Belichick has cemented his legacy as the greatest coach in NFL history. The fearsome QB-coach duo of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady won 6 Super Bowls together. Surprisingly, it was James White, not Tom Brady, who Bill Belichick admires the most.
James White was a crucial member of the Patriots Super Bowl-winning squad, especially in the Super Bowl LI against the Atlanta Falcons. The Patriots came back from a historic 28-3 deficit to win the game, and White was vital in the game. He scored three touchdowns and a two-point conversion, including a score in overtime that won the Pats the game.
Welcome back to New England James White 🔥. Never forget when he capped off the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history with a touchdown in overtime 🏆 pic.twitter.com/Z3qhp1ny8O
— Pats Buzz (@PatsBuzz) March 24, 2021
Bill Belichick has a special connection with James White perhaps more than Tom Brady
During the New England Patriots coach’s virtual press conference, Belichick was asked about how James White has evolved as a leader.
“As a coaching staff, he’s one of the players that I love to talk to. ‘How are things going? How do you think we’re doing? Where are we on this? Where are we on that?’” Belichick said. “He’s very honest, and he has a good perspective. It’s not too high, not too low. It’s very honest and helpful. It helps me prepare and manage the team. I’ve always done that with the players that I thought had a good pulse on things, and he’s certainly one of those guys, and that shows up a lot in the captains meetings that we’ve had in previous years.
You rarely hear Belichick go out of his way to praise a player in this manner.
“We haven’t elected captains this year, but he does a great job in those meetings of verbalizing where we are, what we need to do, how we need to do it, so forth. As I said, I really enjoy my personal interactions with James and his views and his perspectives. I think he brings a great level of insight to our team, but in his own style, and it’s an effective style. It’s just different than some other guys.”
Bill Belichick on James White: “As a coaching staff, he’s one of the players that I love to talk to. ‘How are things going?’ … He’s very honest and he has a good perspective. Very honest and helpful. It helps me prepare and manage the team.” pic.twitter.com/BOcF6SR7uJ
— Henry McKenna (@McKennAnalysis) August 10, 2021
“James gives us great leadership both on and off the field,” Belichick said. “He’s a player that if he doesn’t say anything, you just watch what he does. He provides great leadership by his actions, the way he prepares, his consistency both on and off the field, his work habits and his attitude to always help the team and put the team first in whatever he’s asked to do.”
In a year with massive expectations, New England values White’s presence and insight in a big way. And Bill Belichick will be relying on the 3-time Super Bowl winner to carry the team back to the playoffs.