While the majority of players on the New England Patriots’ current roster is in its summer break, the team’s first-year players still have some work to do. Led by first-round quarterback Mac Jones, the group is still taking part in the so-called rookie developmental program until July 2.
Rhamondre Stevenson is also one of the nine participants. The Oklahoma running back was selected in the fourth round by the Patriots earlier this offseason, and since that point has been focused on only one goal: getting up to speed quickly.
It all starts with the playbook, as he pointed out during a recent media conference call.
“You have to stay in that playbook or you’ll get left behind definitely,” Stevenson said. “It’s a lot of information — special teams, offensively, for the defensive players defensively. But for me personally it’s just routes, pass pickups, run schemes, who the O-linemen are blocking on certain plays. I’m doing nothing but learning, just taking everything in and trying to become a sponge and just soak everything in.”
During his four-year college career at Cerritos College and the University of Oklahoma, Stevenson established himself as a powerful and productive runner. Despite missing five games due to a suspension, he led the Sooners in yards from scrimmage during the 2019 season — setting himself up nicely for the jump to the pro level.
Now that he has made it, the task at hand is getting ready to help his new team. How remains to be seen, but Stevenson is making sure to be prepared for whatever comes his way: running, catching, pass protection, you name it.
“I take pride in trying to be a very versatile player,” he said. “I’m just learning how to do every one of those phases even better than I do now. It’s just a learning process for me. I’ve only been here for a few weeks, I’m still just trying to learn how to be a pro.”
This process also includes keeping a close eye on his veteran teammates. After all, Stevenson is the youngest and least experienced player in the running back room — one that he shares with veterans James White, Brandon Bolden and Tyler Gaffney, former early-round draft picks Damien Harris and Sony Michel, and fellow youngster J.J. Taylor.
So, what can he learn from them?
“A tremendous amount,” Stevenson answered. “Not only on the field, but just off the field; how to carry yourself. I just want to be prepared on the football field, in the classroom, things like. I just want to better my game in every aspect.”