Former West Virginia Mountaineer quarterback Pat White participated in his first mini-camp practice as a member of the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League this week in Bradenton, Florida.
White signed with Edmonton in March, which was two weeks after fellow West Virginia alumnus Selvish Capers inked a deal to join the team.
With anyone that goes from a job they know expertly to an entirely new situation, there will be some time needed to adjust, learn and just generally feel comfortable in a person’s new surroundings.
The same goes for White as he goes from his last stint in the NFL as a member of the Washington Redskins to the slightly altered version of football played in the CFL.
However, White remained confident in describing his play in the first session of mini-camp and of what lies ahead this year.
“A little rusty, but I’m excited to be out here on the field, learning with my teammates, picking up a new offence and a new style of football,” said White.
“I felt like I was a little sharper on my reads in the second session. The first session I held on to the ball a bit, but coach got that out of me real fast.”
It would be good to note that in the sessions for White there was no lineman on the field, either offensive or defensive, which didn’t allow for running outside the pocket that he made a name for himself in Morgantown. The quarterbacks were only wearing helmets in these early practice sessions without any of the rest of the regular uniform.
Even though being a rookie to the CFL, Edmonton head coach Chris Jones was impressed, but saw areas where improvement can be made with White.
“I thought he did a good job. I thought he did a real nice job. He’s got to understand coming out of the huddle a little quicker, and he’s got to understand the throws,” said Jones.
If the style change from the NFL to the CFL wasn’t enough of a challenge for White, the quarterback position for Edmonton is loaded with talented players with experience that matches with the former Mountaineer.
Quarterback Mike Reily, which played with three NFL franchises before making the jump to the CFL, is the incumbent starter after throwing for 24 touchdowns, 18 interceptions and more than 4000 yards last season.
After being released by two NFL franchises since 2010, White will have plenty of motivation in the back of his mind to propel him to making an impact as he’s done at every stop of his football career.
Edmonton begins training camp in June followed by a pair of preseason games before kicking off their 2014 season against the BC Lions on June 28. WVU Pros will keep you updated on how White performs throughout the CFL season.