West Virginia University football fans agree that Pat White is one of the best players to ever suit up for the Mountaineers. Many will even say the best ever. This is a debate with no clear cut answer.
There is so much criteria to consider when discussing the issue that anyone, pro or con, could make a good case on either side of the issue. Of course there wouldn’t be very many to try and dispute Pat’s rank near the top, but “best ever” covers a lot of ground. One thing is for certain, White is the only WVU quarterback to start and win four bowl games. His other feats were remarkable.
In any event, if having a great professional career has any bearing on being the best ever football player at WVU, White may not make the cut. Two exhibition games into his second summer camp with the Miami Dolphins, White is looking like a long shot to fit into the Dolphins plans, at least in the near term. In two pre season games White has yet to throw a pass and has been credited for two rushes for minus three yards.
Last year White was the third quarterback on the Dolphins roster. He appeared in 13 games and was 0-5 passing and had 31 carries for 81 yards. His appearances were more as a back in the Wildcat package than they were as a traditional quarterback. His quarterbacking fundamentals were highly scrutinized by pro scouts when he was a college player. The popular theory was that White would probably have to make a position switch to play in the NFL, most likely as a wide receiver.
Then the athletic left hander went to the NFL combine in Indianapolis and was one the best at his position. The thing about the combine is they measure a lot of things, but you don’t really play football there. Anyway, White was suddenly back on several team’s boards as a quarterback prospect. The quarterbacking skill set he displayed at the combine convinced some teams that White could possibly play quarterback in the NFL. Add his speed and athleticism, and he became a second round quarterback pick instead of a more obscure late round “athlete” pick.
White to the Dolphins made sense too. Miami puts the Wildcat offense, where the ball is snapped to a particular back, whom the defense knows is going to run or pass, to regular use. That explanation may seem overly simple, but with the correct person with the ball, it is effective.
The Dolphins had Ronnie Brown to run out of the Wildcat, but the thought was White could add more of a passing dimension to the package. That hasn’t worked out, as his 0-5 passing stat from a year ago will attest. Brown remained effective in his role in the Wildcat. Then White suffered a season ending concussion last year in a late season game.
Fast forward to now, and we find the Dolphins have added quarterback Tyler Thigpen to their roster. He is currently listed as the backup to Chad Henne with White occupying the third spot and veteran Chad Pennington fourth. The thing is, based on the results of two preseason games, White would clearly be the last among the four based on the plays he has had. Coach, Tony Sparano has already said White won’t play in this week’s exhibition against Atlanta.
Concerns have continued with White’s passing fundamentals and his ability to read defenses. There is growing speculation that White is resisting the Dolphins’ attempts to have him try another position. Whatever is going on, it looks like a long shot that White will be on the Dolphins active roster when the first game rolls around.