Simply 4 practices in, Ezekiel Elliott is already taking a vocal management position with the Patriots


“You create these bonds off the sphere and that may carry over to the sphere.”

New England Patriots running back Rhamondre Stevenson (38) and New England Patriots running back Ezekiel Elliott (15) at today’s New England Patriots practice.
Ezekiel Elliott has already made his presence felt throughout his restricted apply reps in New England. Barry Chin / Globe Employees

Ezekiel Elliott has solely logged a complete of 4 practices with the Patriots, with solely two of these that includes full-contact drills.

However that restricted expertise in Invoice O’Brien’s system hasn’t necessitated the necessity for the Patriots teaching workers to ease Elliott into first-team reps and significant snaps throughout apply.

And despite the fact that he is perhaps a newcomer on a Patriots roster that has practiced as a collective unit for near a month now, it hasn’t taken very lengthy for the previous All-Professional again to determine himself in Foxborough.

“I feel he’s .. a competitor,” Matthew Judon mentioned of Elliott’s speedy affect throughout joint practices in opposition to Inexperienced Bay final week. “He got here in and he noticed stay bullets flying [against the Packers] and that aggressive nature got here out. And so whoever was in his colours, whoever was carrying his jersey, that’s who he was standing behind.

“That’s who he was rooting for. So I feel him taking over that position and truly speaking and truly being vocal. He’s mature within the sport of soccer and NFL and he’s snug with any locker room he’s put into, despite the fact that that is his second locker room.”

Judon is much from the primary Patriots participant to provide credence to Elliott’s vocal presence on the sphere, with Mac Jones noting throughout his interview with WEEI on Monday that New England’s new operating again “looks like an amazing chief” just some practices in. 

For Elliott, taking a management position early stands as a obligatory step, not solely to ingratiate himself to an already established locker room however to assist additional foster camaraderie forward of a grueling regular-season slate.

“I feel it’s positively necessary to maintain your online business out right here on the sphere,” Elliott instructed reporters on Wednesday. “However I feel an enormous a part of being part of a successful program is simply camaraderie and attending to know your teammates. I feel that’s positively necessary to me, for me to get to know the fellows within the locker room, since you create these bonds off the sphere and that may carry over to the sphere.”

After all, the Patriots didn’t dole out a contract for Elliott only for him to be a vocal chief.

With New England in determined want of a succesful backup possibility behind Rhamondre Stevenson on the depth chart, Invoice Belichick and his teaching workers have already handed Elliott loads of reps with Jones and New England’s high offensive unit throughout apply.

“The method has been nice,” Elliott mentioned of becoming a member of the Patriots. “I used to be sort of at dwelling for a very long time, so I received plenty of vitality. I feel I missed the primary, what, 17 practices of camp? So I assumed I positively ought to are available in and be sort of slightly energizer increase. However the transition has been good. I’ve been getting together with the crew. Love the coaches, love this ambiance, love this program and simply having enjoyable.”

A bruising short-yard runner and nonetheless efficient pass-catching possibility on the running-back place, Elliott reeled in two catches from Jones on Tuesday earlier than being utilized in a number of red-zone snaps on Wednesday.

“I feel whenever you take a look at my play fashion and the tradition of this crew, I feel it’s a superb match,” Elliott mentioned. “I feel I’m a superb match.”

Despite the fact that Elliott scored 12 touchdowns in 15 video games throughout his ultimate season with the Cowboys, the 2022 marketing campaign was considered as a little bit of a “down” yr for the 28-year-old operating again, with 876 dashing yards and 17 whole receptions each standing as career-lows.

However even after getting minimize by Dallas earlier this winter, Elliott isn’t viewing this upcoming season as one centered round proving doubters fallacious or different motivations past serving to his new crew out on the sphere.

“I don’t suppose any exterior entity might put extra strain on me than the expectation I’ve for myself,” Elliott mentioned. “It’s probably not to go on the market and show something to anybody, however simply go on the market and present what sort of participant I’m.”