Ezekiel Elliott said he’s ‘feeling more comfortable’ with learning Patriots’ playbook

Morning Sports Update

Elliott said he prioritizes pass protection. “If you can’t protect the quarterback, you can’t get on the field.”

Ezekiel Elliott Rhamondre Stevenson Bill Belichick Patriots
Ezekiel Elliott (right) in a discussion with Rhamondre Stevenson (left) and Patriots coach Bill Belichick. Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

Ezekiel Elliott on how he’s acclimating to playing for the Patriots: As the Patriots head into the start of the regular season, a once-thin backfield looks to be bolstered by the training camp addition of veteran running back Ezekiel Elliott.

Elliott, 28, was signed in mid-August, and admitted that he’s still adapting to his new surroundings after spending the entirety of his previous seven NFL seasons in Dallas with the Cowboys.

“I’m definitely feeling more comfortable than I was two days ago, but definitely coming along,” he told reporters, per NESN’s Zack Cox. “Still got some stuff to learn. Training camp is tough because you’re putting in the whole playbook. Learning a game plan is a lot easier because it’s shrunk down instead of that big binder. You’ve got a smaller one.”

Elliott said he’s trying to sponge as much information as possible before Week 1 against the Eagles on Sept. 10.

Though he isn’t seen as an elite open-field runner at this point in his career, Elliott could still offer help with goal-line carriers, pass-catching, and pass protection. The latter is a point of pride for the former Ohio State Buckeye.

“Blitz pickup has been a priority since college,” said Elliott.

“If you can’t protect the quarterback, you can’t get on the field,” he added. “Blitz pickup is a big priority to me. It’s also just another time to go out there and hit those guys.”

Trivia: Ezekiel Elliott is one of four Ohio State running backs since 1990 to be picked in the first round of the NFL Draft. Can you name the other three?

(Answer at the bottom)

Hint: One played only four seasons in the NFL due to injuries (all with the Cardinals) from 2009-2012. The second played his entire career with the Vikings, retiring after the 2000 season at the age of 28. The third was drafted by the Houston Oilers (now the Tennessee Titans).

Scores and schedules:

Tonight, the Red Sox begin a three-game series on the road against the Royals. First pitch is set for 8:10 p.m.

Tomorrow, the Revolution host Austin FC at 7:30 p.m., aiming to extend the team’s 13-game unbeaten run in the regular season at Gillette Stadium in 2023.

More from Boston.com:

FIBA World Cup update: Despite a slow start — the U.S. trailed at halftime — the Americans went on to defeat Montenegro 85-73 in the first game of the tournament’s second round.

On this day: In 2007, Clay Buchholz pitched a no-hitter in just his second career MLB start. It was a dominant performance all-around for the rookie, who struck out nine in a 10-0 win over the Orioles.

Daily highlight: It was a tough season opener for Rhode Island, who fell to Georgia State 42-35. The best play of the night came from Georgia State cornerback Cody Jones, who stole away a would-be touchdown for an interception in the end zone. Replays (thanks to some good camera work) show just how good Jones’s play was.

Trivia answer: Beanie Wells, Robert Smith, Eddie George