How Rhamondre Stevenson is adjusting to Alex Van Pelt’s offense


Stevenson is on his fourth offensive coordinator in four seasons with the Patriots.

Patriots running back Rhamondre Stevenson caught a pass during Patriots mini camp at Gillette Stadium. (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff)

In just four years, Patriots running back Rhamondre Stevenson has played under four offensive coordinators.

Josh McDaniels first held the reins when Stevenson was drafted in 2021. Then Matt Patricia took over in 2022, followed by Bill O’Brien in 2023.

Now, after three seasons of the Patriots’ steadily declining run game, the 26-year-old is eager to break in a new scheme under former Cleveland Browns OC Alex Van Pelt.

“They were a heavy outside zone in Cleveland which we’re bringing over here now,” Stevenson said on NFL Network’s “The Insiders” Monday.

The wide-zone-heavy system is a departure from what Stevenson was accustomed to under O’Brien and Patricia. The shift, however, is welcomed. And after struggling to gain momentum in the early part of last season, with Stevenson averaging just 2.8 yards per carry through the first five games, he’s focused on coming out strong in 2024.

“Honestly, for me, I watch all kinds of running backs. The smaller ones, the bigger backs like myself. So I take a little bit of everyone’s game, to be honest,” Stevenson said about one way he’s preparing for the upcoming season. “Nick Chubb did a great job at it, so I think that’s a great person to watch.”

Watching Chubb, who had his three most productive years playing under Van Pelt in Cleveland, helps Stevenson conceptualize how each play should look on the field.

“I just turned on, honestly, [his] highlights and just seeing him running all throughout defenses with it,” Stevenson told reporters Monday following the first day of the Patriots’ mandatory minicamp. “The linemen are on the right courses, everything looks well put together and everybody’s working together. So I hope we could, you know, get that done this year.”

While Stevenson is working to master the new run-heavy offense, however, he’s also considering the physical demands of his enhanced role. And, coming off of a season-ending injury in December, his fitness was a top priority during the offseason.

“Just better weight, just a little stricter diet, nothing too crazy, just to make sure my body’s ready for the whole season,” Stevenson said. “You know it’s a long season. I’ve seen what that could get like so I’ve tried to prepare myself.”

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