Former Tennessee Titans running back LenDale White is now part of the Seattle Seahawks after being traded on Draft day in exchange for moving down in the fourth and sixth round of the draft. White is excited about the opportunity to be reunited with his college coach, Pete Carroll, and excited about a new opportunity to compete for a starting job. After a promising ‘07 and ’08 season, White struggled to get onto the field last year as Chris Johnson had an incredible 2,000 yard season. That left a sour taste in his mouth because he had spent all off-season shedding twenty-seven pounds to get into better playing shape, so that he could have more endurance and get more playing time on the field. The Titans liked to use him as a battering ram in short yardage situations because they already had a quick, shifty running back in Johnson so, in my opinion that was the reason for the steep decline in his production last season.
The offensive backfield is now a crowded situation in Seattle. White now has Julius Jones, Justin Forsett, and newcomers Leon Washington and Quinton Ganther to compete against for the starting job. It looks as though Carroll is going to use the running back by committee approach and he has made it clear that White isn’t getting any free passes because of the long-term connection with him. But he did say that there is a spot on the roster if White can prove that he is up to it. Plus White came into OTA’s at 218 pounds.
Lendale White joined FoxSports Radio with Petros & Money to talk about whether he knew that he was going to be traded, whether he asked to be traded and if he asked for a particular team and if that was Seattle, and how different Coach Carroll is now then when he was in college.
Whether he knew that he was going to be traded:
“The thing was that I was definitely trying to get out of Tennessee. I am happy for Tennessee. I definitely appreciate the fans, Coach Fisher and the whole Tennessee organization. But I think it was just time for me to move on. I kind of had a feeling that I was going to get traded and when it happened that morning all of my family woke me up around 7:30 or 8:00 calling me cheering in the house and all kind of stuff. I just woke up and I looked on the TV and it happened. So it was a dream come true again.”
Whether he asked to be traded and if he asked for a particular team and if that was Seattle:
“I don’t think if I would have requested they would have listened anyway. I just told them that I was trying to get out of town. I just felt that my time was up there. I did the best work that I could while I was there. When they gave me an opportunity I flourished and when it is time to move on it is time to move on. When it was time it happened. I think God knew that I wanted to go to Tennessee, I mean Seattle. They had seen the thing on TMZ a couple of months ago when Pete got hired. It just kind of worked out and I am happy that it did for the best.”
What kind of year Seattle fans should expect him to have and whether he is going to carry the ball twenty times a game:
“Yeah I believe that I am that same back. I am going up to Seattle with the intention of being the starting running back. I have sat the bench and that is not where I want to be. I worked hard to put myself in this situation. I have lost the weight and I continue to be in shape and try to be the lean guy and the guy that these people want. I have put myself in that situation and I am going up to Seattle to be the starting running back. That is what I hope to be and that is what I am going to be.”
Whether the offensive system in Seattle is suitable for his type of style:
“You know what is crazy is that it is the same stuff that we have in Tennessee. It is the same exact things. I think what happened was in Tennessee they probably got a little too carried away with the Chris Johnson thing. The year before that we were 13-3 when I had two-hundred carries and we split the rock. Chris went to the Pro Bowl and we had the first round bye, they did things different the next year and we struggled to make the playoffs. It is what it is. It is the same offense down here in Seattle. I am very familiar. I know how to pick up pass protection and stuff like that. The playbook is not what I am worried about. I am just worried about the opportunity and I think that Pete is going to give me a chance.”
How different Coach Carroll is now then when he was in college:
“You know it is still the same Coach Carroll. It is still Pete. I am excited because one thing about it is you are going to get the same Pete everyday and that is, compete. You are going to go out there and have competition and try to get better every single day. Practice is what you make of it. You can have fun and you can compete. It is going to be cake or you could try to fight it and do whatever you want. You might struggle. I think that all of the guys up there are pretty much are buying into it. After I don’t know what they guys did last year. Maybe, I forgot what it was. Maybe 6-10 or something like that but I don’t know. But after that it is time for a change anyway. It didn’t work last year so why not buy into this new system and try it this way?”