By all accounts, Ezekiel Elliott has fit right into the New England Patriots' culture and offense in his short time with the club.
"I think if you look at my play style and the culture of this team, it's a good match. I think I'm a good fit," Elliott said on Wednesday, via ESPN. "I was at home for a long time, so I thought I definitely should come in and be kind of an energizer boost. The transition has been good. I've been getting along with the team. Love the coaches, love the atmosphere and love this program. Just having fun."
Elliott has recently been the poster boy for the declining running back market. The Cowboys handed him a big contract in 2019, but his production has dwindled with age, culminating in his release from the club this offseason after seven seasons.
Once making $15 million per year, Elliott signed with the Patriots for a one-year deal worth a base value of $3 million, worth up to $6 million.
With Elliott coming off career lows of 876 yards and 3.8 yards per carry last season, the question is how much the 28-year-old has left in the tank. Elliott isn't worried about the outside perception.
"I don't think any outside entity could put more pressure on me than any pressure I have for myself," he said. "So, it's not really to go out and prove anything to anyone but just go out there and show what kind of player I am."
Zeke profiles to share carries behind three-down back Rhamondre Stevenson and seems likely to get the bulk of the red zone work, where he still showed prowess last season, earning 12 touchdowns. Elliott's pass-blocking ability -- which remains among the best in the league -- should also earn him some snaps in non-rushing situations.
"He's a back that has a similar running style as me," Elliott said of Stevenson, "so I think we'll be able to complement each other very well."
The Pats clearly needed a veteran back to pair with Stevenson after the youngsters on the roster did nothing to stand out during training camp or preseason. Elliott won't see the 240-plus carries he got used to in Dallas, but he can certainly have a role in New England's offense. The lightened workload may actually make Zeke a more effective back at this stage of his career.
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