Pat White Thankful For Second Opportunity In NFL
A standout dual-threat quarterback in college, White fell out of the league after being cut by the Dolphins in 2010 and is driven this summer to prove he still belongs.
BY ZAC BOYER
ASHBURN – Robert Griffin III admitted to feeling slightly star struck when he first saw Pat White at Redskins Park.
Griffin won the Heisman Trophy in 2011 partly because of his role in Baylor’s high-powered spread offense, which White popularized during his time at West Virginia from 2005-09.
Now it’s Griffin’s turn to give White an opportunity. With Griffin out until at least training camp following surgery on his right knee, the Redskins needed a dual-threat quarterback who could keep the offense sharp and the defense honest.
That’s what led them to White, who signed a one-year deal in early April despite having not played in the league since 2010.
“I was enthused when I first started to train to get this opportunity, not knowing whether it was going to happen or not,” White said. “I’m happy to get back at it.”
White, a second-round pick by Miami in 2009, entered the NFL at the wrong time. The league had just begun experimenting with the wildcat offense, and White, a better runner than a thrower, was typecast in that role but could not succeed.
Two years later, coaches have begun deploying the true zone-read option, and Griffin and the Redskins ran the scheme effectively last season. If White can make a successful return to the league, Washington’s offense should provide him with that start.
“I didn’t see enough in his first year that would make you think that the guy was done,” said offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, who wanted to draft White when he was the offensive coordinator in Houston in 2009. “Pat’s got a lot of upside, and it’s always hard when you’ve been away from the game for a while, but he’s working as hard as anyone and I think he’s gotten better each practice.”
White sustained a concussion in the final game of the 2009 season, and when he was cut by the Dolphins after the following preseason, he began a brief minor league baseball career before returning to football in the now-defunct UFL.
How he will fit with the Redskins when the preseason ends is uncertain. Kirk Cousins will be the interim starter, and Rex Grossman again returned on a one-year contract to continue mentoring Griffin and Cousins.
If White is able to stick around in the NFL this time, he’ll likely have to do it somewhere else.
“I know that there’s still a lot to be learned, a lot for me to accomplish, but I’m willing to put in the time and the work to make it happen,” White said. “I’m just very thankful and blessed to have this opportunity.”