With the season less than a week away and the roster set, I wanted to take a quick look at Pat White, the newest quarterback addition to the Redskins 2013 roster.
As with nearly all of Redskins nation, I was extremely surprised the former second round pick made the final 53 man roster. Not only was White a long shot, but he joins a quarterback position that is already deep.
Now, as analysts try and dig into what the brain trust for the Burgundy and Gold were thinking, I’ve thought about this decision for a couple of days. Why keep White over Chase Minnifield, Tony Pashos, or Lance Lewis?
This question brings me back to the above quote from Mike Shanahan, a coach who routinely looks for advantages.
Pat White gives the Redskins scout team a unique advantage. The West Virginia product is a stud when it comes to the new zone-read scheme that’s the craze of the NFL right now.
New Eagles coach Chip Kelly made his name at the University of Oregon with a fast paced offense that excelled in the zone read. The Redskins face the Eagles twice a year in a rather even NFC East. Why not keep a player whom you can routinely count on for giving you an accurate look at your division rival.
This week, as the ‘Skins prepare for their Monday Night home opener, White will simulate Michael Vick in practice and give Washington an detailed look at what Kelly and the Eagles will run. He may not have the arm that Vick possesses, but he most likely runs the zone-read more efficiently than the Eagles quarterback. With Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan looking to get after the quarterback, White will teach them to stay home and not bite on fakes. Imagine how many nuances London Fletcher will pick up this week. With Philadelphia trying to keep Washington from substituting, any advantage Fletcher has at picking up plays is key.
White’s college career is well documented. Freshman All-American, 3x first team Big East, and 100+ touchdowns. Those are incredible numbers for a fourth string Quarterback. While he may never see the field for the Redskins, there is no doubt in my mind why White remains on the roster: he gives the Redskins the best shot to prepare for the Eagles and San Francisco 49ers.
Mike Shanahan will chalk it up as Pat White being one the best 53. However, for a coach always looking for a game day advantage, he clearly is preparing himself for the zone-read and the rest of the NFL.