LenDale White wants you to know he’s a good man up for grabs. Any takers? There is a little hitch though…a pending four game suspension for violating the league’s anti-drug policy. Apparently while he was forgoing the tequila in order to slim down, he was also hitting the bong in order to chill-ax. Hey, it worked for Michael Phelps. White recently told the Tennessean he had smoked marijuana while playing for the Titans, though he doesn’t partake any more.
“I did it, so it is my fault,’’ White said. “I smoked marijuana; that is all I have ever done. That’s all I do, that’s it. I smoke. I don’t care about any other drugs, but it’s marijuana. … But I have changed. I am a good man. Unfortunately the stuff that I did in my recent past caught up to me in the present and it’s affecting my future.’’
Unfortunately, LenDale White is his own worst enemy. He’s viewed as an overweight, poor work ethics, hard drinking trouble-maker, whose own college coach doesn’t even think he has what it takes. And now White can add “pot-head” to the list. And most of the criticism is due to some comment he said, or how he looks physically, or some projection of himself, rather than his performance on the field.
It would be a shame to see LenDale White burn out so early in his career. In 2007 White rushed for 1,000+ yards with five games over 100 yards. In 2008 he rushed for 778 yards and 15 TDs, with his production only lowered because he shared major carries with Chris Johnson. Only in 2009 did his stats show marked decline, but that was likely attributable to Chris Johnson’s outlandish 2,000+ yard success rather than White’s failures. Last season White only received 64 touches compared to nearly 200 attempts in 2008, and 303 attempts the year before in 2007.
If I were White I would hire a reputable P.R. person in the morning and let them take over. I believe he still has a number of years of productivity left in him, that his talent and work ethic didn’t magically disappear in Chris Johnson’s wake. He’s just a P.R. nightmare. The lack of carries last season allowed the media to focus on White’s persona rather than his skill, so much so that he is no longer seen as the powerful north-south running back he is, but a notorious paragon of NFL failure.
Hopefully some coach, G.M. or owner will see his worth and pick him up this coming season. And hopefully this time White will learn to keep a low profile off the field, letting his legs do the running instead of his mouth.