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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Danny Jaillet

Bill Belichick, Robert Kraft react to James White’s retirement

New England Patriots running back James White announced his retirement on Thursday morning. Tributes began to come in from several within the organization, including coach Bill Belichick and owner Robert Kraft.

Kraft released a statement Thursday afternoon, as the running back’s career comes to a close. White was a key part of the Patriots offense for many years, serving as both an effective third-down running back and pass-catcher. Now, the Patriots will look to fill the void, as the team continues to get younger at several key positions.

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Kraft highlighted some of White’s key contributions.

White was a key part of Bill Belichick’s game plan for many years, as his versatility allowed him to see the field often. His reputation for being a steadfast presence in the backfield was recognized nationally in Super Bowl 51. His 129 total yards of offense helped propel New England to the fifth Super Bowl championship in team history.

Belichick offered effusive praise for White in a statement released by

“James defines the term consummate professional,” said head coach Bill Belichick. “His dependability, consistency, unselfishness and performance under pressure are elite. Combining great intelligence, quickness and elusiveness, James was a perfect fit for our pass offense. While soft spoken, he brought exceptional leadership and competitive toughness to the team. He was a multi-year team captain and one of the most respected, best team players I have ever coached.”

The Patriots will miss White’s veteran presence in the backfield, as this represents another case of the organization building for the future.

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