Pat White's Days With the Miami Dolphins May Be Numbered

Scott AltmanCorrespondent IJune 18, 2010

NEW ORLEANS - SEPTEMBER 03:  Quarterback Pat White #6 of the Miami Dolphins during the game against the New Orleans Saints at the Louisiana Superdome on September 3, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Dolphins defeated the Saints 10-7.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The last time we saw Pat White, he lay motionless on the turf of Sun Life Stadium after the Steelers' Ike Taylor appeared to have turned him into a cadaver.

Ironically, that was the most representative play of White's cadaverous season. 

The Dolphins used the 44th overall pick on the former West Virginia star in the 2009 draft.  

Although White enjoyed large scale success in the Mountaineers' spread offense, many questioned his ability to translate his skills to the NFL.

Those questions proved to be valid concerns once White entered Dolphins training camp. He struggled to make consistent throws and quickly fell to the bottom of the quarterback depth chart.

White failed to complete a single pass in any of the 13 games he appeared in during his rookie season, and amassed just 81 yards on 21 carries.

Needless to say, his rookie campaign was an absolute disaster.

White did show some flashes in a Week Nine loss against the Patriots, rushing for 45 yards on six carries, a few of which were actually successful option runs.

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However, the cons far outweighed the pros for White. The Dolphins gave him opportunities to make in impact late in many of the 13 games he appeared in, but he failed to do so. He seemed uncomfortable with the ball in his hands, and had Dolphins fans holding their breath every time he took a snap.

All this being said, White deserves some slack.

He is a developmental project that was not given much playing time or a defined role in the Dolphins' offense.  

Furthermore, White is still making the transition from a spread to a pro style offense, which could take many years to complete.

Still, the serious lack of quarterbacking skill White displayed last year might be enough to leave him on the bubble of the Dolphins roster this summer.

Miami has its starter in Chad Henne, as well as two very valuable backups in Chad Pennington and Tyler Thigpen. Pennington, barring a "once in a lifetime" trade offer, is not going anywhere, and Thigpen has proven himself as a great backup between his days in Kansas City and his performance in Week 17 last year.

As much as the Dolphins might like White's long-term prospectus, they are playing for a Super Bowl this year.

Carrying three quarterbacks they can absolutely trust is a far better option than carrying two with one they cannot, or carrying four quarterbacks, leaving another position with less depth. 

So, White's status with the team might boil down to whether or not Parcells & Co. want to keep four quarterbacks on their roster.  The team's decision will hinge primarily on two factors.

First, will White's role be significant enough to keep him on the 53-man roster?  

And second, has White progressed enough that the Dolphins will be comfortable putting the ball in his hands?

These questions are interdependent because if White has not made considerable strides from his rookie season, he will not be given a significant role in the Dolphins' offense. 

If this is the case, it will be hard for the team to justify keeping White on the roster, unless they truly believe he can one day mature into a valuable player. 

However, if White enters camp bigger, stronger, and more comfortable with the Dolphins offense, Miami will definitely keep him around.

For White to keep his spot on Miami's roster, he will have to prove that he can be a playmaker in the Wild-Pat formation, or that he can make the throws that are required of an every-down NFL quarterback.

This summer will be the true test for Pat White.  If he fails to deliver in Dolphins camp, he may find himself delivering resumes to other NFL teams.

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