Commentary

Tip Sheet notes: Where to list White?

Still no extension for Cowboys' Ware; another lost season for Andrews

Originally Published: September 18, 2009
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com
Pat WhiteDale Zanine/US PresswirePat White played in the Wildcat for three snaps against Atlanta with unproductive results.

To maintain an element of surprise in the future, the Miami Dolphins might be forced to list rookie quarterback Pat White on game day as a wide receiver or tailback.

In the season opener at Atlanta last week, White was listed as the Dolphins' No. 2 quarterback, and primary backup Chad Henne (the actual backup to starter Chad Pennington) was designated as the No. 3 or "emergency" quarterback. But by designating White as their No. 2, the Dolphins unwittingly tipped the Atlanta Falcons' defense to their plans to use the rookie from West Virginia in the Wildcat formation.

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

Said Falcons linebacker Mike Peterson: "A red flag went up."

White played in the Wildcat for three snaps with unproductive results (a rush for no yards, a deep incomplete pass for Ted Ginn Jr., and a Ginn end-around that netted one yard). Had White been listed as the No. 3 quarterback, it would have preserved a modicum of surprise. But the conundrum is that, by rule, if the No. 3 quarterback plays before the fourth quarter, neither of the top two quarterbacks can participate in the game again at any position. So for practical purposes, White can't be listed as a quarterback and also designated the No. 3 guy.

But by being listed as a wide receiver or tailback, positions at which he has dabbled in the past, White could come into the game at any time and operate the Wildcat offense for a play or two, and then exit without jeopardizing the ability of Pennington or Henne to return. Such a move would essentially be the same as using tailback Ronnie Brown in the Wildcat and then having Pennington re-enter the contest.

It's a legal maneuver the Miami brass might want to consider in the coming weeks.

To read the rest of Tip Sheet notes -- the negotiations between DeMarcus Ware and the Cowboys, and the Patriots' linebacker issues -- you must be an ESPN Insider. Insider

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider