Pat White makes 53-man roster
When Pat White climbed into his SUV on Saturday morning to make the short drive to the Redskins’ practice facility, he didn’t know what the future held for him.
It was cutdown day in Ashburn and the numbers didn’t look favorable. But the suspense didn’t last long. Shortly after his arrival, he was informed that he was, in fact, an NFL player again, three long years after getting released by the Dolphins.
“It was definitely a little nerve-racking,” White said of the process. “But it’s a joy and a pleasure to be a part of this team.”
The soft-spoken 27-year-old added: “I know I’ve still got a lot of work to do, so I’m just happy to have the opportunity to do it.”
White finds himself in an unusual position—he’s the fourth quarterback on the depth chart behind Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins and Rex Grossman. So, naturally, there are questions about how he fits into the team’s plans, and whether he’s going to be here long term.
Asked point blank what the coaching staff has told him about his role, he declined to answer.
“That’s something you have to talk to Coach about,” he said.
Coach Mike Shanahan was also elusive.
“Like I said all along, we’re trying to keep the top 53 players and I thought Pat was one of the top 53 players,” Shanahan said. “I like what he’s done, especially being away from the game for a number of years. I thought he really handled himself well and we felt like he was one of our top 53 and that’s why he’s with us.”
This much we do know: He’s fast and he’s left handed, which means he’ll do a good job impersonating Michael Vick during practice this week as the Redskins prep for next Monday night’s opener against the Eagles.
“He’s going to give us a great look,” Shanahan said. “He’s amazing at what he can do with the zone read. He’s been out for a while and for him to execute like he did, as quick as he did, tells me a lot about Pat. He’ll give us a great look this week.”
However long White’s tenure lasts in Washington – a few weeks, a whole season or longer – no one will be able to take away the sense of accomplishment he felt on Saturday. Five months ago, he said he was going to earn an NFL job. And that's exactly what he did.
“I was enthused, happy, blessed,” White said.
But he also knows his journey is just beginning. Asked what he still needs to improve, he acknowledged that the list is long.
“All aspects of my game,” he said. “Tighten up my footwork, get better in the film room, get better with leadership, the whole nine.”