Bill Belichick says Rhamondre Stevenson is ‘way better’ this year

·2 min read

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick has high praise for running back Rhamondre Stevenson, particularly with the improvements he’s made since last season.

The former Oklahoma star rushed the football 133 times for 606 yards and five touchdowns. He began his rookie campaign as a complimentary back to Damien Harris but then took on a more prominent role by the end of the season, where he was able to flash his explosiveness.

New England likes to utilize dual-threat running backs in their offense, and it appears as though Stevenson has worked on his skill set as a receiving back.

“Mondre’s done a real good job of improving his pass game skills, starting with blitz pickup and protection,” Belichick said at a media conference. “Route running — he’s got good hands, catching the ball has never really been an issue. It’s setting up defenders, recognizing coverages, when to sit down, when to break, depending on what the rest of the pattern is, how to maximize the distribution on the pattern.

“…But he’s done a good job of, again, gaining experience and all that. He’s way better than he was last year, and he understands that’s an important part of his game. It’s not just carrying the ball. It’s all things that go with the passing game. So, he’s done a great job.”

New England may have to find another major receiving target out of the backfield, as Brandon Bolden has left for Las Vegas.

Stevenson had a minor impact in the passing game last season, catching 14 passes on 18 targets for 123 yards. Another target out of the backfield would benefit quarterback Mac Jones considering he had such a good rapport with Bolden last season.

Stevenson would benefit from becoming an efficient pass-catcher, as New England looks to ramp up its offensive production. An efficient Stevenson would be yet another weapon for an offense looking to turn the corner.

List

Twitter reacts to scary Patriots-Panthers training camp fight

Story originally appeared on Patriots Wire