What Ezekiel Elliott will bring to the Patriots offense

Ezekiel Elliott the New England Patriot

Back on August 16th, 2023, the New England Patriots made a bold move to bolster its running back room by signing former Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott to a one-year deal worth up to $6 million dollars, including incentives. Just 28 years old Elliott’s prime has come and gone but remains productive in the backfield at his age. Last season with Dallas he ended up rushing for 876 yards and scoring 12 touchdowns on the ground averaging 3.8 yards per carry. Zeke will be backing up Rhamondre Stevenson the Patriots lead back that is entering his 3rd season in the NFL. Stevenson rushed for over 1,000 yards a season ago and he already knows Elliott and can learn from his veteran experience in the league as well.

Ezekiel Elliot the New England Patriot. 

The Patriots are known for adding veterans like Corey Dillion, Rodney Harrison, and Mike Vrabel just to name a few so signing Zeke was no different. He should be able to last the season barring any setbacks or injuries coming up but it’s good to see the Patriots add some veteran depth at the position. Just recently they traded second-year running back Pierre Strong Jr. for offensive tackle Tyrone Wheatley in much-needed depth at the position.

Elliott’s Introductory Press Conference

What to expect from Elliott

New England to use him on 3rd-down plays and even possible goal-line scores but mostly you will see Stevenson getting the bulk of carries as the main back. He still will produce as a good running back and complement Stevenson well. I am sure that offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien and head coach Bill Belichick already have spoken to Zeke on what his role will be with the team as they head into Week 1 against the Philadelphia Eagles. He looks very happy to be part of this New England team and he’s ready for a fresh start with a new organization.

Elliott prior to the Patriots preseason game in Green Bay.

Expectations could be a little bit high for Elliott in a Patriots uniform with how many years he brings to a very young core group in the running back room. Can he flourish with this offense? It’s very possible that he can be successful even blocking for quarterback Mac Jones and helping the offensive side of the ball in any area possible. The “Do Your Job” mentality that Coach Belichick implements into his guys is what they live by.

Zeke’s projected 2023 outlook

New England Patriots’ Ezekiel Elliott along with J.J. Taylor (42) and Ameer Speed (28) walk to practice for NFL football training camp Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

I am looking at Zeke’s projected stats for the Patriots this upcoming 2023 season. I can see him having 200-220 carries similar to what he had in 2022, also having about 800-830 yards rushing and having about 30-35 receptions out of the backfield and rushing for about 8-10 touchdowns. These projections are pretty average and roughly around to what he had being the #2 running back behind former teammate Tony Pollard in Dallas.

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