Despite the gold-and-blue-colored glasses, I’m (mostly) realistic when it comes to the assessment of former West Virginia players who have graduated to the next level.
Quarterback Pat White, one of the greatest Mountaineers ever, couldn’t get it done in the NFL. Drafted higher than any WVU quarterback since Oliver Luck in 1982, White washed out of the NFL after only one season.
Some would say White was ahead of his time. Others would say that, even in this read-option-crazed era, White wasn’t very good — in large part because he couldn’t take an NFL-caliber hit.
But the 49ers, who worked White out on Thursday, have a problem. They’ll be facing the Seahawks and quarterback Russell Wilson twice per year, indefinitely. The Niners will need a scout-team quarterback who can simulate Wilson during the two (or three) weeks the Seahawks are on the docket, and possibly more often than that.
Roughly the same size as Wilson, White’s specialty could be helping the 49ers work on ways to shut down Wilson and, in turn, the Seattle offense.
And the 49ers won’t have to worry about White getting injured, because he’ll be wearing the red no-contact jersey while running the scout-team offense.
He may never have to actually take a snap in a game setting for the 49ers. But White could become an important piece of the puzzle for a team that is trying to hold off the Seahawks while trying to win a sixth Super Bowl.