Pat White Pushes Forward in Comeback Effort - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Pat White Pushes Forward in Comeback Effort


Pat White's debut with the Washington Redskins went about as well as he could have hoped. Leading a fourth quarter comeback with a mix of his arm and his legs had the quarterback at the bottom of the depth chart making noise in the nation's capital.

His second shot at making a good impression came on Monday Night Football, and though it was still just a preseason game, there was plenty of excitement as White's Washington Redskins hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers. White again was held until the fourth quarter before trotting out onto the field to lead the offense.

"I try to treat every play and every day like a game day," White said after the game. "That's what it takes to be a professional in this league, so I guess just don't let the little things bother you and understand that as long as there's another opportunity to go out there and perform, you can do your best."

Little things in this one included three incomplete passes, two of which hit his receivers' hands and a fourth being an interception along the sideline. White's three completions and four rushes for 24 yards were his highlights on a day when no late heroics were needed to seal what was ultimately an 11-point victory.

"I think our staff does a great job of play calling. Whatever they call for me to run is what I'm going to give 100 percent doing," said White. "I've got a lot of work to do and I'm more than glad to have an opportunity to come out and perform every day. It's a blessing that I look forward to every day that I wake up."

A former teammate of White's, Chris Neild, was already on the Redskins roster when his old quarterback signed with the team in the offseason. He has watched as a player who once led his West Virginia University squad works his way back into a game that at one point he had said was left in his past.

"I'm glad that he pursued the game again. He took a little time off and he wanted to come back and show that he could still do it," said Neild, entering his third season in Washington. "So far, he's been looking pretty good. He gets out there, he makes plays and when he gets that read option, he takes off to the sideline, I just feel like he's going to take it to the house."

That exact scenario played out Monday night when White called his own number rather than let the running back take the ball and he dashed to the right sideline, turned it up field and in his college days, there were likely six points waiting at the end of the play. Not that White has lost a step, but the game at this level has picked up one or two of its own. The safety caught him and forced White out of bounds.

But White seemed to welcome a hit rather than shy away from it. Against the Steelers, the same team on which Ike Taylor played when he knocked White out as a Miami Dolphin, the quarterback seemed to be egging on a defender looking for a little contact.

"Actually, when I ran out of bounds on their sideline, Ike Taylor made a little joke because I guess I sort of baited the guy into hitting me and he was like, ‘Be careful, Pat, he's a hitter.' It was a good time," said White.

Watching from the sideline, Neild had hoped he would see his quarterback show precisely what he had in guiding the Mountaineers throughout his four-year career.

"When I saw him keep that ball and hit it to the sideline, I thought, ‘Oh man, if he gets past that one guy, he's gone. Ain't nobody gonna catch him,'" said Neild.

In the end, he was caught, but not before showing that he's still got some of what made him special. The threat of White's abilities may very well have led to a Redskins touchdown when rather than keep it for himself, he handed off to Roy Helu Jr., who took it to the end zone.

White will have to show more of that with limited opportunities remaining if he has a chance to unseat veteran quarterback Rex Grossman as the team's third option. It is an uphill climb that White has begun by returning to the NFL after so much time away, but he files that under the same category of "little things." The opportunity is what matters and whether it continues in Washington or leads him elsewhere, Pat White is glad to be back on the field playing the game of football. 

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