Pat White entered the training camp season stirring up some questions, and it seems things are still in flux after the Dolphins first preseason game last night. Pat White got in the game in the final seconds and his 3 snaps featured him handing off, and knelling twice. White’s lack of play has elicited an article from Miami Herald Columnist Israel Gutierrez, titled “Option Style QB Pat White not giving the Dolphins options”. Gutierrez questions if Miami needs an option style QB, the starter is Chad Henne and the backup will be Chad Pennington, and they have another traditional QB in Tyler Thigpen if they so desire for the three. With Pat making it pretty clear he only wants to be a QB in the NFL and the Dolphins front office still saying they want him at QB and that he has made great strides in converting his game to the NFL, one has to wonder why there was no PT in the first preseason game.
To justify a roster spot for Pat you would want to have Henne at the one, White at the two and Pennington at the three, because with NFL rules once the #3 QB comes in one and two can no longer play, so for White to come in and out he needs to be the unofficial backup. The first preseason game typically goes, starter gets one or two series, backup plays one possession into third, 3 and 4 fight for the scraps at the end. Pennington did not play and it was Thigpen that took the backup role all the way to the final seconds of the game.
I have two theories as to why White did not play. For one the weather was not cooperating and the field was a mess, not a good situation to break out the Wildcat or the speed dependent White. For that matter Wildcat is almost something you can’t run in preseason because then by the time the real games start every team has a game plan in place to stop it. Two, the team as a fairly good idea what it has in White, and wanted to get a very good look the newcomer Thigpen. That could lead to either the Dolphins cutting White or asking him to try another position, which could lead to anything.
I will leave it at that, as I’m already diving into a pile of speculation. It seems with the signing of Thigpen the Dolphins front office may have given up on the idea of having a QB just for the Wildcat. Anything could happen in the next few weeks with White’s future with the Dolphins, and I’ll be keeping a close eye on it.
Update: Coach Tony Sparano has restated they see White as a quarterback only
“I’m not getting any closer to wanting to try him any place other than the one he’s in right now,” Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said in remarks distributed by the team. “From my end, I’ve seen improvement in the last week, clear improvement in the last week out of Pat throwing the football. From that part of it, I have no other agenda other than to try to continue to develop this player as a quarterback on our team and to see him make the same kind of improvement this week that he made last week.”