April 14, 2011
Bill Parcells is out of football and loving it, planning trips to the Caribbean and outings with his friends in Major League Baseball. That doesn't mean he's not wistful about some of the mistakes he made as the Miami Dolphins executive vice president of football operations, most notably the drafting of Pat White(notes).
In an interview with Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, Parcells says he regrets selecting the West Virginia quarterback in the second round of the 2009 NFL draft. It was a rare instance of NFL admission by the notoriously prickly ex-coach.
"We violated our principles. [...] He just wasn't a prototypical quarterback pick," Parcells said. "He was a great college player, and we let that color our judgment."
In hindsight, it's easy to look back on pro-White raves like this one from Don Banks -- "If the NFL handed out superlatives for the draft class of 2009, the most intriguing prospect, the one that 31 teams are some day likely to wish they had spent a little more time getting to know, would be West Virginia's Pat White" -- and laugh. That was a pretty popular sentiment at the time, though. Mike Mayock loved White's NFL prospects. Mel Kiper was less enthusiastic yet still saw White as a solid NFL player. Kordell Stewart, Antwaan Randle El(notes) and Brad Smith(notes) all made nice careers with the same frame and skill set. Why not White? Even if guys like LeSean McCoy(notes) and Shonn Greene(notes) were available.
White lasted one year in the league. He completed no passes and rushed for just 81 yards during his brief stint in Miami. White tried his hand at professional baseball (he was once drafted by the Yankees) but that too was unsuccessful.
Sure, White didn't work out. Sometimes you just miss. We can look back at his flaws and come up with dozens of reasons why we should have seen this coming. I mean, check out the picture above. It looks like one of those commercials where a kid plays quarterback in the NFL. But for as many reasons that White didn't work, there were a dozen more that caused smart football minds like Parcells to think it'd be different.
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