Dennis Mitchell has known Jeff Demps well enough to recognize that competitive gleam in his eye.
As Demps ran through his routine training sessions this winter for the upcoming football season, Mitchell could catch a glimpse of a guy who was running with a unique purpose.
Demps is a two-sport athlete at heart. He is neither a football player nor a track star. He has always been both.

But even when the running back committed to the Patriots last summer on a three-year contract, Mitchell and others close to Demps figured it would evolve into his singular interest.
Sometimes, though, it’s tough to leave a love behind.
“You can kind of feel things in people, and Jeff has never really left track emotionally,” Mitchell said. “So when he came out there and started working out and stuff, you could see he was starting to get the feel of it back again. But you never would think that he would make a decision like this.”
That decision was Demps’ recommitment to track for Team USA. The sprinter, who specializes in the 100 meters and was a silver medalist in the 4x100 at last year’s London Games, informed Bill Belichick on Monday that he’d continue running for his country. And Mitchell, a 1992 gold medalist himself who coached Demps in high school, got his old gig back.
Demps isn’t giving up on football, though there’s still no indication on the Patriots’ feelings toward the news. For starters, the Pats don’t begin their offseason program until voluntary workouts start in early April. The offense and defense won’t take the field at the same time until May, and mandatory minicamp is in mid-June. Demps’ camp still hasn’t clarified his plans for those camps.
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