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Bill Belichick offers sky-high praise after Patriots RB Rhamondre Stevenson’s career day – Boston Herald

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FOXBORO — Bill Belichick needed just two words to express his feelings about Rhamondre Stevenson on Sunday, minutes after Stevenson had rumbled for a career-high 161 yards in the Patriots’ shutout of the Lions.

The sentiment was so nice, Belichick expressed it twice.

“Love him,” he said. “Love him.”

Stevenson took every carry for the Patriots after their second drive of a 29-0 win, when starter Damien Harris was sidelined early by a hamstring injury. Stevenson broke five tackles on the longest play of the game, a 49-yard rush up the middle. It highlighted the balance in his game Belichick and teammates have come to love: Stevenson can bowl defenders over and break away from them.

“He is a really good football player. Really a good football player. So glad we have him,” Belichick said. “Had a couple of blitz pickup plays right up the middle where he stepped up there. He is a good all-around back.”

Asked about his performance, Stevenson credited the Patriots’ offensive line, which entered kickoff as one of the best run-blocking units in the league. He averaged 6.4 yards per carry Sunday.

“I feel like those guys up front, they really led the way, for me and Bailey Zappe today,” Stevenson said. “Just because of how hard they were moving people, how hard they were working, things like that. So just those guys up front, I have all the respect for them. Much love.”

Stevenson also caught two passes for 14 yards. If Harris is sidelined for an extended period of time, it’s likely Stevenson will take on a lead role with fourth-round rookie Pierre Strong, a healthy scratch Sunday, as his backup. The Patriots also have veteran Ty Montgomery on injured reserve with a knee injury, though his recovery timeline is unknown.

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