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Behind No. 3 QB White, Redskins rout Bucs

The SportsXchange

TAMPA, Fla. -- On the night when Robert Griffin III gained approval to return to action, Pat White made his case to return to the NFL.

White performed well, and Washington's defense held the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to 146 total yards as the Redskins closed out the preseason with a dominating 30-12 win Thursday night at Raymond James Stadium.

With quarterbacks Griffin and Kirk Cousins both injured, White played the entire game for Washington. A former West Virginia star who has out of the NFL since being cut by the Miami Dolphins before the 2010 season, White looked sharp with his arm and legs, throwing for 181 yards and running for a 7-yard touchdown. He completed 13 of 22 passes, throwing one interception.

"Myself, personally, too many mistakes I think. I'm hard on myself, which I should be," White said. "Blessed to have that opportunity and thankful that coach (Mike) Shanahan let me play all four quarters. I had fun, but I'm ready to clean up the mistakes."

Before the game, Griffin met with James Andrews in Tampa on Thursday, and the surgeon cleared RG3 to return to game action seven months after right knee surgery.

However, Redskins coach Mike Shanahan drew out the drama four more days, saying he wants to talk to Griffin over the weekend and will "let you know which direction we're going to go" on Monday.

Former Penn State running back Evan Royster rushed for 59 yards and a touchdown in the first half for Washington (4-0), and White connected with nine different players with passes as the Redskins moved the ball with ease.

It was a woeful first half for the Bucs, who totaled 35 yards on six drives. Rookie quarterback Mike Glennon finished the night 7-for-16 for 63 yards with two turnovers.

On its first drive, Washington got a 66-yard pass from White to former Bucs receiver Dez Briscoe, who was helped by two missed tackles. That set up a 1-yard Royster touchdown.

The Buccaneers (1-3) had an Eric Page 105-yard kickoff return to the Redskins 3-yard line negated by a holding penalty, and their only first down on the first four drives came on a Washington penalty.

Royster had a 36-yard run to set up a Kai Forbath field goal, and then Redskins rookie Chris Thompson, a fifth-rounder from Florida State, returned a punt 69 yards for a touchdown on the final play of the first quarter. Thompson's score gave Washington a 17-0 lead.

The Bucs got on the scoreboard on linebacker Najee Goode's 37-yard touchdown on an interception return of a White pass, but the offensive struggles continued. Glennon fumbled at midfield, setting up a Forbath field goal, then was intercepted by his former North Carolina State teammate, David Amerson, who returned the pick to the 9-yard line to set up the White touchdown run and a 27-6 lead with 1:09 left in the half.

"It was a rough one for our offense, and that starts with me," Glennon said. "I have to play better, but the bright spot is this is preseason and everything's still a learning experience for me. Even though I didn't play real well, I'll learn from this and because of it, I'll be a better player."

The Bucs, after totaling 63 yards in the first half of Saturday's game at Miami, mustered only 35 yards in the first half against Washington. The Redskins had 250 at the half, with eight different players recording plays of 10 yards or longer.

Saturday brings the NFL's final roster cuts, with each team going from 75 players to 53, but White, 27, said he's improved throughout the preseason.

"Who knows what's going to happen? I don't think I hurt myself, but I don't know if I helped myself," he said. "I definitely want to continue playing the game. I have a lot of passion for it. I love it. I think I've come a long way, mentally and physically, but I still have a long way to go."

NOTES: Griffin, who has not played in the preseason following right knee surgery, came out to midfield as a captain for the pregame coin toss. ... White played in Raymond James Stadium for a sellout crowd in 2007 when South Florida upset West Virginia. ... The Bucs used DB Mason Robinson at running back in the second half. He had seven carries for 8 yards. Robinson played running back for current Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano when both were at Rutgers in 2007-08 but moved to receiver and cornerback to finish his college career. ... Tampa Bay opens its season Sept. 8 at the New York Jets. ... Washington opens at home against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sept. 9.
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