Already a steady piece of the Patriots’ offense, James White knows he’s going to be counted on even more in 2018

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(Adam Richins/Boston Sports Journal)

FOXBOROUGH — When James White was told running backs coach Ivan Fears said his football knowledge was “second only to (Tom) Brady,” White didn’t flinch.

That doesn’t mean White isn’t appreciative of Fears’ statements. He knows the words carry some weight. Instead, it’s simply a form of vindication, an acknowledgment of the hard work and dedication White has shown since he arrived in Foxborough as a fourth-round pick out of Wisconsin in 2014.

“He’s the one guy who works more than anybody else, as far as studying and preparing and being ready,” Fears said of White.

It's heady praise for any player to be in the same conversation as Brady, and White acknowledges the statement. But for him, when it comes to “football knowledge,” it's a pretty simple definition.

“I think it’s a combination of everything,” White told