Patriots: Josh McDaniels heaps very emotional praise on James White following tragedy
By Jerry Trotta
Patriots OC Josh McDaniels heaped emotional praise on RB James White after he tragically lost his father to a car accident.
The Patriots’ coronavirus predicament, which worsened Wednesday morning after cornerback Stephon Gilmore tested positive, largely overshadowed the fact that running back James White returned to the field just three weeks after a car accident claimed his father’s life and left his mother hospitalized in critical condition.
It shouldn’t surprise anybody that White performed well in spite of his vulnerable emotional state against the Chiefs in Week 4, compiling a team-high seven receptions for 38 yards while contributing 21 yards on three carries in the running game.
In the wake of that unspeakable tragedy and his courageous return to the gridiron, White has received an outpouring of love and praise from his teammates, coaching staff and NFL colleagues. The most moving tribute, however, came from Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who couldn’t have done better in complimenting him if he tried.
"“I told my kids last week if they grew up to be like James White, then me and their mother would have done a good job,” McDaniels told reporters on Tuesday. “I think that’s one of the best compliments we could say about him.”“James is a special individual. He was that way when he got here. I think that’s a tribute to the way his parents raised him and the kind of human being he is and he’s developed into. He’s always been one of the finest teammates that I will ever coach. He’s always prepared to do his job very well. He has the rare ability to listen to something in a meeting and then perform it exactly that way on the field. He’s been able to do that really his whole career here.”"
That first quote is quite literally the ultimate compliment a father can bestow on another individual, and it just speaks to White’s professionalism and how he’s handled himself both on and off the field since the Patriots used a fourth-round selection on him back in 2014.
Here’s the full, 30-second clip of McDaniels heaping emotional praise on White.
Patriots fans can’t possibly fathom what White is going through right now, but they can at least take solace in the fact that the three-time champ revealed during his postgame interview on Monday night that his mother, Lisa, is steadily improving after suffering critical injuries in the crash.
We continue to wish her a speedy recovery, and our thoughts are still with White and the rest of his family as they continue to reckon with their tragic loss. As for McDaniels, well, it goes without saying that these powerful quotes were extremely needed right now.