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Dr. Saturday

Pat White trying to make a NFL comeback, can it work?

Frank Schwab
Dr. Saturday

View photo


(USA Today Sports Images)

Pat White was one of the better college quarterbacks in recent memory, and one of the biggest NFL busts as well.

White was a second-round pick of the Dolphins, after a great career at West Virginia. His NFL stat line is 0-for-5 passing, with 81 yards on 21 rushing attempts. No touchdowns passing or running. That's as much of a non-factor as any second-round pick can be.

But White is trying to rewrite that history. He is working with noted quarterback coach George Whitfield and will work out at West Virginia's pro day.

It would be a fun story if he gets another chance, but how big is that "if" for White?

White was a superb college player. The first quarterback to start and win four bowl games. He graduated as the NCAA's all-time leading rusher for a quarterback (a mark that Denard Robinson broke, somewhat controversially because he took some snaps at running back). He was a bit of a precursor to all of the dual-threat quarterbacks who have taken over college football, who are now are getting chances in the NFL.

And then White fell flat with Miami. He was a reach, even when the Dolphins were in love with the Wildcat formation. And then Miami picked him and didn't seem to have any idea how to use him (the Jets would repeat this years later with Tim Tebow, so it wasn't exclusive to White).

Landing with a coaching staff that would have a better idea how to deploy his skills wouldn't solve everything. At a listed 6-0, 190 pounds, White is far from the prototype size for a NFL quarterback. Neither was Russell Wilson, but White was never the thrower Wilson is. And now White is 27. His last NFL game was 2009.

Working with Whitfield, who has done a great job with other quarterbacks like Cam Newton and Johnny Manziel, will help. And he has displayed high-level skill level in the past. Maybe with a creative coaching staff and an unlikely second chance, White can be a productive NFL player.

That would be a heck of a comeback story.

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