Ryan White has been a member of the Green Bay Packers for a little more than week.
Understandably, the coaches aren't putting too much on the rookie's plate. White practiced with the cornerbacks during the team's rookie minicamp last weekend, and this week has been integrated with the veterans during Phase 2 of the the Packers' offseason program, which includes strictly individual position workouts.
"I've got a great coach in Joe Whitt, Jr.," said White during an appearance on Cheesehead TV's Railbird Central on Wednesday. "And I actually have some of the best guys to look up to who have been in the league, such as Tramon Williams and Sam Shields."
The Packers are taking it slow with White, but part of the reason they signed him is his multi-dimensonal ability to play anywhere in the secondary and even quarterback.
Well, let's put things in perspective. White isn't about to line up under center for the Packers any time soon, or ever for that matter.
But while in college at Auburn, the coaching staff recognized White's talent as a high school quarterback and decided they could put that talent to use.
As a junior in high school, White threw for over 1,000 yards and 14 touchdowns and ran for over 600 yards and six touchdowns.
White served as Auburn's primary place kick holder for three years from 2011 to 2013, and during the Tigers' run to the SEC title and an appearance in the national championship game as senior, he actually helped Auburn score two-point conversions both through the air and on the ground.
"The Packers definitely know that I was holding kicks, and I told them I was open to doing anything," said White. "I'm here to make the team; I'm here to do anything possible to make the team."
It's nice to know that White is a unique talent, but his calling card definitley isn't going to come as a holder. If he's going to make the Packers' roster, he's going to have to show something as a defensive back.
Working in White's favor is that he played both cornerback and safety for Auburn, participating in all 14 games a senior, starting two and making 54 tackles.
Both of White's starts came at cornerback in 2013, but due to an injury to another player, he was forced to move to safety the day before Auburn's game against Texas A&M.
Facing Johnny Manziel, White had the most memorable moment of his season against the famed quarterback by making his only interception of the season.
"Everybody knows that Johnny Manziel likes to scramble around and make plays," said White. "I was just in a good position and sticking to my zone and being responsible, and he threw it up. I said that night I wanted to pick Johnny Manziel off and the opportunity was there, so I had to take advantage."
Next up for White is taking advantage of the opportunties presented to him during the Packers' offseason program.
It's one thing to be a part of the team's 90-man roster. It's a whole other thing to be one of the 53 players still standing on the final cutdown date.
But it's a good thing White offers some versatility.
"I can do anything," said White. "I'm just trying to be part of this great organization with the Packers. Whatever they ask me to do, I'll do. I'm open to anything."
Brian Carriveau is the author of the book "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America," and editor of Cheesehead TV's "Pro Football Draft Preview." To contact Brian, email [email protected].
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