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Thoughts (I have a few) on White activation

I know for a fact the Dolphins liked Pat White early in the draft process. Bill Parcells personally fell in love with the kid's play at West Virginia and in the Senior Bowl and was sharing that fact with his buddies at Spring Training games up in Jupiter, FL. early on.

The stuff about the Dolphins being moved to pick White because they feared New England would snatch him is bogus.

And now that Miami has Pat White, it has to figure out what to do with Pat White.

That normally isn't a big issue. If you've got a player that is going to contribute, you suit him up, activative him and throw him out there, hoping he'll succeed. But White, who's position, plays and even game status are veiled in secrecy, is not your ordinary player.

First of all, the Dolphins don't want folks to know when and how they're going to use White. That's a problem because the Dolphins also have made it clear White is strictly a quarterback and the NFL has rules concerning the three quarterbacks on the roster.

Because White is a quarterback, the Dolphins last week decided to designate him the No. 2 while true backup QB Chad Henne was designated the No. 3, or the emergency QB. As ESPN's Len Pasquarelli points out in his Friday Tip Sheet, that immediately tipped off the Falcons that White was indeed going to be used against them.

"When we saw that White was No. 2," Atlanta coach Mike Smith said, "We knew they had some Wildcat stuff planned."

So the Dolphins, try as they might to keep White's status a secret, are dogged by the fact you must designate your QBs 90 minutes before the game so the Wild cat is out of the bag.

To combat this Pasquarelli suggests the Dolphins designate White as a receiver or running back instead, so as to not tip off the opposition before the game. Sounds logical on the face of it. But there are problems with that approach.

First, White cannot be designated a wide receiver because he doesn't wear a WR number. He'd have to change his number to officially change positions. Secondly, the Dolphins did little to no work with White at wide receiver during training camp.

And though White might be able to line up at receiver as he did against Atlanta, that's not what the team has planned for him. The Dolphins want him taking snaps from center and either running or passing out of the spread offense. They have receivers to play receiver a lot better than White can.

Finally, the idea of designating White as a receiver or a defensive tackle for that matter, doesn't change the fact he takes up an active roster spot. And if Henne is taking up an active roster spot, that means someone who was active last week has to be deactivated.

The simple math is if you have White, Chad Pennington and Chad Henne active, someone has to be take a seat in the stands as an inactive player.

That poses a problem in its own right because the Dolphins are freaks about how many plays they will milk from each player they take to the game. If the Dolphins lose one of those players, somebody has to pick up the slack.

So there is no easy solution for making White active. It might be that Chad Pennington, Pat White and Chad Henne might all be active for some game to not tip Miami's hand on the use of White 90 minutes before the game. But that is a fleeting strategic victory as most teams will assume if White is active, he'll get snaps regardless.

That leads me to these two scenarios:

Is White worth having active at all. I would tell you that if White is active versus Indianapolis -- which is NOT a certainty -- he must produce because two consecutive unproductive weeks might cause coaches to conclude he's not yet ready to contribute.

And what makes White any less accountable than any other player, particularly a rookie? You're not ready? You sit.

Also, White has to be productive and do so in a package of plays that numbers at least half a dozen to a dozen. After all, what good is having White active for three plays and plays that fail at that?

So the pressure is on White to show up soon.

One more thought:

This conversation would be so different had White actually completed that lone pass attempt last week to Ted Ginn. That pass connects and it changes everything.

Defenses, you see, expect White to run. So, if they react like the Falcons reacted, they will load the box when he was at QB. That was obvious on his run for zero yards.

But if White completes that fateful pass, defenses have to respect his arm. And now they're not putting eight defenders in the box. And now White can run, which forces them to respect the run. And now they have to respect both run and pass. And that causes problems for the defense!

Had that pass been two feet shorter, it would have changed everyone's outlook on Pat White.

Of course, had I picked the right six numbers last weekend and actually played those numbers, I wouldn't be writing any of this right now. That, like the completion, did not happen.

So White must make something good happen this week. Assuming he gets another opportunity.


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Your "this conversation would be different" assessment should've been the beginning, middle, and end of this write-up...

Forget White Lets do a sign and trade for Michael Crabtree and send San Fran next year's #1 and Matt Roth.

Yup, having White active instead of Henne is a big thing, afterall White will only give you a couple of snaps while Henne will give you Zero unless a injury occurs. Use your brain Armandoo.

I think it's irrelevant that Pat White overthrew Ginn, he showed he can easily chuck the deep ball, and is a dual threat. Defenses still have to respect the chance of the throw. Defenses are not going to look at the tape and think, "Oh, let's still load the box anyways, if Ginn gets open again White will just overthrow him anyways." in my opinion Armondo just about all your blogs this week have not been thought through and way too dramatic after week 1, WEEK 1!

Mitch is correct. If an injury does occur, you scrap the wildcat and play Henne the rest of the game, since the other two can't play once Henne gets in.

Armando, there is a reason you are typing these blogs. Remember that.

I am not a fan of this. I love the Wildcat but the flow of the team is disrupted. Bringing White in is tough on a lot of people. Pennington may only have 2 downs to make a first when White screws up. And the odds are that he will continue to make small mistakes. He ain't ready. He is under a ton of pressure to perform. Face it, he has one down to do something.
It also upsets Henne, who probably feels that he is being jerked around.
It upsets the team rythum.
If they are going to run the Wildcat do it like we did last year. If you want White to play, trade him and get someone we can use. It is like owning a Harley and having a 650 Yamaha in the garage. You ain't gonna drive the 650 and when you do it isn't right.

mando, when not out on mission here in afghanistan doing what our country asks, i enjoy your posts including this one, so thanks, and sorry to hear about your mom.

my view, and i know most will think it crazy, is get rid of the so called conventional #1 qb. run the wild cat, pat, and henne packages, mixing it completly up.

throw penny as the number 3. it will take a while for the guys to get it down, but it will be explosive, defenses would be reacting instead of being proactive.

the coaches decided to select pat after they selected henne and the cat package install, so this is their plan weather, its just when they implement it.

its time to let the cat out of the bag, brown running the cat with pat in the back, henne running the conventional with ricky blasting the wholes, and both qb's have the arm to make things happen downfield to ginn.

that is the plan, or i would then start questioning the tunna, and i know that aint going to happen.

we dont need a STAR on offense, everyone gets the job done, defenses will have no idea who to lock up on. if we are going to have any chance this yr, penny needs to be #3, it hurts cause he is a great guy and qb, but coming out from the shortstop position, brown and pat need to run wild.

defenses watch out!

I do not understand the problem here. The coaches will make a decision based on what they think is best for that particular week. Where is the mystery? If the coaches don't think it is an issue, why should I?

Mando, I appreciate your in depth takes on things. Even though we might disagree (which is America) I like the analysis BEYOND quotes of the players/team.

In this case, I agree with what you said.I say use BASE personnel Wild Cat and shelve Wild Pat for a few weeks.

However, you are correct...if Pat White hits that pass we are all calling for more of Wild Pat.

One overthrow & Pat White is toast? I wish he had connected, but his talents bear further examination via utilization.

Even if you had gotten the numbers you'd still be writing this column...it floats your boat!

I think part of the problem is that it is too early too have White running plays. We all know he struggled in practice so to me it says he is not ready for the real deal. Why take a chance on destroying a promising player's confidence?

Armando, had that pass been 2 feet shorter it would have been overthrown by only 5 yards.

It's too early for White, IMHO. Henne had to sit back and learn the offense. I think White must follow the same progression. There are other things they can do out of the Wildcat. The other option, of course, if they insist on thrusting him in there is to make White a RB.

white and henne looked very bad in training camp and practices. then no better in the pre-season games. we really don't have alot of options for high quality play on offense. we took both qb's 2 rounds too early. neither is ready to go. even team scrimmages in august didn't provide a leader or excitement.

I say give him time and it will work out !

Why did Sparano think that White was ready to play? Forget his inabilty to play under center for a minute. Think back to his wildly inaccurate and usually way over the WRs head in camp.

I thought that drafting this guy was a bad decision then. I haven't seen anything so far that's made me think different.

You still have to be patient with rookies. It may take 6 or 7 weeks before things click. I just don't think they should disrupt the base offense when they are behind. They should have gone to the hurry-up sooner.

Yeah, and if my father had breasts he'd be my mother. IF is a fruitless word.

This is the problem with drafting an athlete instead of a football player. You just can't find a way to use his perceived ability. We already have that problem with Ted Ginn. Why on earth did we want to purposely draft another one?

Mike, there is a reason you are reading the blogs Armando writes. Remember that.

If Mike had his way, Dave Wannstedt would still be Miami's coach. Wannstedt never thought he was the problem.

So why should you, Mike?

White has not shown anything, yet, and that includes this summer, that justifies him being active on Sundays. Shawn Murphy was inactive all last season, even when injuries occurred at guard. The guy played poorly in training camp and didn't get on the field. Why does White get a pass? I'll admit, I didn't like the pick that early in the draft. I would have fallen to the 4th or 5th round.

I'm concerned that this is some kind of marketing ploy. I don't know, give 3-5 snaps this week and if contributes the 2 yds he did on opening day, shut it down.

The most hilarious thing is that everyone acts like Pat White is even 1% of the reason we lost last week. Are you kidding me? We took White with a 2nd round pick. I loved it. We took Jake Long 1st overall and he got abused and embarassed last week. Should we question that pick. The second CB we took is better than the first. Please people, STFU already with the over-analysis.

Hey Hightower, you might have missed it but the name of Mando's article is "Thoughts on White's activation".

just the fact that the wildcat is on the table ,makes the def. plan for it, take time out of their practice schedule to practice for it.
all this takes away from their base def.practicing for your base off.

pat white should run the wildcat this week.
because it didn't work out to perfection last week is by no means a reason to take it off the table.
by that definition we need to not play the whole off-line this week ,because they didn't play up to expectations,trade the lot of them.
I'm glad our coaches don't get influanced by some of the suggestions of what to do on this blog.
we'd be changing Qb's every week,if someone fumbles or does something else ,they would be gone the next week ,it's just wild some of the crap said on here.
but that being said I guess this is where you express your ideas about stuff like that.

we lost last week for 3 reasons ,

1- mr Fasano's fumbles .

2- MR COACH switching QB every after 10 minutes of playing like we are playing basketball .

3- the OL studs .

Ronnie Brown should run wildcat still. Pat White come in on 2nd downs and kill momentums. Leave preseason for find how good a player.

Pat white needs to play more. I believe hes ready. 3 plays is not enough to prove anything. Once pat white gets the feel of the game or to understand the level that is being played out there, it's On. The real pat white will be unleashed!

Why Pat White to play right away and Chad Henne to sit still? Chad Henne is good qb with strong arm and year of learn, but he still not better choice to Pennington (yet), why they want to put Pat White in when he young, confuse, and ready to make mistake?

Bill PARCELLS knows the ingredients that make a great quarterback. He drafted Phil Simms, CHAD pennington, kept Tony Romo around after bringing him in as an undrated qb, drafted Drew Bledsoe. He knows PAt white was twice as productive in college than Chad Henne and Won more big games. I wAS happy to see we have someone on the team that can overthrow ted ginn. Pat White doesn't need to make anything happen against the colts to justify getting playing time, Bill Parcells has made his decision after watching chad henne for over a full year and knows that the future of the dolphins is in pat white, so lets ease him out there and get him ready. The fact that they feel comfortable deactivating henne, just for the few plays that white will be in the game, tells me more about who they really like behind close doors.

Carlito would do better job managing the QB and OL than the current coach .his mind is full of smart thoughts and spot on on the strength and the weak aspects of the game .

Hi cuban menace oops I mean carlito form golfito

IF pat hits GINN?

Well IF a IF was a SPLIFF weed be all FU%$ED UP.

I like Pat White, but here's my problem. The Wildcat is advantages in that it creates 11-on-11 in the RUN GAME, where as conventional setup is 10-on-11 since the QB just hands off. Why all of a sudden do we think you need to throw 50% of the time out of the Wildcat? The best person to run the Wildcat is primarily a RUNNER who can throw the ball OK. White could run in college, but his speed is not all that at the pro level. To me, Vick & Tebow are the ideal Wildcat players. They are better runners than throwers (which takes advantage of the Wildcat). The only way White will be great at the Wildcat is if he proves to be a very good runner in the pro's. I think this is quite suspect.

Simply put we beat ourselves. The Falcons didn't do anything. While our O moved the ball up and down the field we would always seem to shoot ourselves in the foot.LOL. ok a giggle.

Every turnover gave them the ball on our side of the 50.

The plays looked good and when pat faked that run all eyes were on him. He pulled up and had GINN open. Every FIN fan was at the edge of their seat. The pass was tight and boy did it have a nice look in the air and when it fell to the ground you didn't think what if but you saw what this O would look like real soon.

And we all smiled and said DAMN YOU GOT TO MAKE THAT ONE ROOK.

I have never posted before and I gave you guys plenty of time to figure this out. If you draft Pat White as a QB. and you run the wildcat. then u make henne your 3rd QB on the roster. have u figured it out yet....future of the dolphins will be Pat White not Chad H. then your wildcat option is full time and impossible to defend

The Wildcat loses it's effect with White. No element of surprise; or is there? He comes in the game & defenses automatically think Wildcat. Miami needs to use this FACT against defenses.

keep the wild cat coming, just better timed, and don't disrupt Penny's rhythm.

why can't miami not list a #2qb. list white as a reciever or whatever, and have henne be the emergancy qb off the bench IF penny goes down. I believe you can have an emergancy qb not on the 53 come off the bench if the starter goes down, and by not listing a @2qb, you don't lose that roster spot to add white...

el ritmo

the reason pat white goes in ahead of henne is because henne is pretty much the same player as penne. pat white does things neither of them can do!! you think either could run an option? could they have faked a handoff, then a run, then throw a bomb? no. white will be fine. i think he is the best QB on the team. while mando berated him for day one. national reporters love him.

LOL!!! Two consecutive activations and he should produce huh?

Ginn has been activated for 2 and a half YEARS without production. So why does White only get 2 games total?

Armando, White's a rookie Quarter Back in the NFL, how many of those have instant success, he'll be fine, your goin way over board

Correct me if I'm wrong. Which I just might be.

But I don't recall any coach or player claiming a Wild Pat anything exist.

The guy was drafted as a QB. He wasn't drafted to run some trick plays. He was drafted to be a QUARTERBACK.

You fans came up with this Wild Pat stuff. Not the management. So maybe he's just better than Henne which is why he's active.

Waste of a second round pick


I don't buy the tip-off thing. If they activate White and he doesn't play a down, what does the next team assume when he's active? Besides, everyone know the Dolphins run the wildcat. Who cares about what personell comprise the package? If opponents are scheming for both White and Brown spread packages, the phins already have gained an advantage.

I havent seen anything of last weeks game. This Monday (Tuesday) I will get up at 2:30am to catch the game live on ESPN Americas. Then I can offer an edjumacated opinion.

Its a tough call on how to use a guy like White. At this phase in the season, I think I would stick to the standard package, no gimmicks, and see what we can do. Pound Ricky and Ronnie at them and let Pennington do what he does best. An offense needs an identity and we dont want to be the magicians and tricksters, do we?

Cheers from Europe.

PS Armando, your admonishment of the abusive bloggers was long overdue. People who use this forum to insult others have some serious issues.

I said it early this week and i will say it again. IF HENNE WAS READY AND THE COACH THOUGHT HE HAD THE SO CALLED IT, THEN HE WOULD START PERIOD. Stick with Penny and white for now. If season is going down hill then give Henne the start just to let him try to save the season and his career as a STARTING NFL qb. If he fails, it wont take long for the coach to put him on the trading blocks and draft another qb. That pick will probably be a high one considering the team might not win more than 3-4 games.


Two things: (and I would love to hear your opionions on these Mando)

1) Is it time for the NFL to change the rule on designating the QBs? Seems like it would free up teams to be more creative on offense. That's what fans love.

2) I know I could look this up myself, but how did Pittsburgh handle their QB situation when they used Kordell Stewart? Seems very familiar to how the Dolphins want to use White. For some reason I don't hear anyone talk about "slash" when people discuss the Wildcat the history of it.

Fins Fan for Life

Another thing:

I understand the Parcells idea of the puppies. Question is, why not use that when it comes to QBs? Sometimes I think its time to see if Henne bites? Short term pain for long term gain? Because if you play him now and find out he doesn't bite, then what?

Fin Fan For Life

Why did Henne look good last year, and regressive this year? my opinion is he does not see the window to throw to the reciever. for the last year he has been schooled by penny who does not throw a lot of deep balls nor do penny and henne throw with the same velocity. think of target shooting with a recurve bow for weeks, then when you go hunting you take a compound bow. to solve this problem it could be as simple as having Dan Marino stand behind henne at practice prompting,"now" or "z" as in z reciever at the correct timing or window. All Henne needs is someone like Dan with comparable velocity to identify When to throw the ball! seriously, henne looked better right out of college, then he did after a year of watching pennington!

i watched every training camp practice and all the preseason games. pennington was #1 because the other 2 showed zero in base, red zone and wildcat. they couldnt even score in practice. now we expect to go out and "turn it on". it will be a long season. now all the offense is nervous and tight and performances will suffer. you need to play loose.

Did not like the pick then and do not like the pick now! Love my Dolphins, bleed with each loss and get a week long high if they win but I will never be the fan that thinks the team never does anything wrong and picking Pat White in the SECOND round was wrong. Absolutely has to complete that pass no excuse for a QB above the level of highschool to miss like he did. Well like they say its done so??? I will cheer for the kid as long as he wears the uniform, and maybe in the next few years I will cheer for him because he is a good player wearing the uniform

First, Henne would not play anyway unless Pennington is injured. Further, so far Hene has not shown anything to indicate he would be superior to Pennington. Being #2 or #3 is a non-issue. Second, Pat White was an extraordinary college player and athlete. He has the potential to be a completely disruptive player but may or may not be ready to actually do so. Practice and pre-seanson performance reportedly not encouraging about readiness - BUT - it think there is a teeny tiny bit of a possibility hat Sparano knows better how ready he is than fans basing assessments on sporadic and partial reporting. If Sparano thinks Pat can contribut, give him the exposure. Third, for any new QB it takes more than three plays to know how good he will be - more like 300 plays. Fourth, his very presence does drain the time of opposing defenses. Fifth, it is a mistake to make decisions in life based on anecdotes and occasional performances. it is best to make judgements based on that happens repeatedly and routinely over time. Sparano needs to see fair amount of Pat White game play time to complement his data from practice to come to a conclusion. My guess is that Pat is not ready but what do I know? I am a fan. Sparano is the coach and I have great confidence in his judgement.

Todd, you're right. With the regular line up in, and then you shift....there's the surprise. And there's no time to adjust. Too bad our coaches haven't figured it out yet.

Besides, RB can throw better than White.

I kind of still am wondering why ronnie Brown doesn't run the Wildcat more just with some new added wrinkles. They ran a pass play against the Jets in the last game of the season that was WIDE OPEN and Brown just missed the pass. BUT it was open because when Brown throws out of the WIldcat, it is a HUGE surprise. And also it was working great getting Cobbs in the Mix with Williams AND Brown. All of those guys PLUS having the option of pitching it back to Chad to throw it also works. White can be a great addition BUT he's not ready and I would rather put our guys that are ready on the field. What's wrong with allowing Pat to get better and then adding him into the mix mid-season-- when another wrinkle of the offense could really be effective and needed to keep teams honest. Forcing things now is like taking a steak off the grill before its done. Just tastes better with a little more patience. My 2 cents.

I keep seeing comments about how Henne is a failure but that makes NO SENSE whatsoever!!! Pennington led us to the AFC Championship last year....Every indicatio from Parcells and Company TOLD EVERYONE that Pennington was the guy this year.Henne was ALWAYS tagged to be the future quarterback of this team...I mean are u people DENSE??? Just because you went to all the preseason games and practices means NOTHING!!! Please leave the QB situation to the people that ACTUALLY know something about talent AND how to build a football team and progress a young QB...Henne is the future, and I believe a damn good one at that!!!

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