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Transcript: Tom Roth on Johnny White

Posted Apr 30, 2011

On a second draft choice out of North Carolina:

It was unbelievable evaluating those guys.  I mean, there was 15, 16, 17 guys I wrote.  Then with all the drama going on there and the injuries. There were about 150 people there, it was unbelievable (at North Carolina’s pro day).  We had four people there, Mr. Modrak, Buddy, myself and Darrell (Moody).  Some teams had their whole coaching staff there. It was unbelievable.  Next year and years to come, they’re going to have guys.  But it was a crazy year, it really was.

On White:

Johnny’s just a very good player.  He did start at wide receiver, then with Shaun Draughn (North Carolina RB), he missed a couple games and Johnny started (against) LSU and then from there just took off.  He got injured late in the year and missed a couple games. But just his versatility, that’s the big thing with him.  He runs hard.  In between the tackles he runs very hard. He hits the hole hard, has good speed and very good hands out of the backfield. He’s a very good special teamer, and that’s a big thing with him being able to contribute on fourth (down).

On if he is an NFL receiver or running back:

I think he’s a running back. 

On being able to find a roster spot for him:

That’s the thing with a complimentary back, that’s Johnny for you.  Like I said, special teams is big, but everything else he brings to the table.  He’s a great kid, just an unbelievable kid.  I know I say that every time, but I’m serious.

On his experience as a 3rd down back:

He was on the field a lot.  They had him, and then Draughn came back, and they had another kid, Anthony Elzy. Once Johnny got hurt, Elzy took over.  Obviously you see his running ability, catching, and then pass protection and that’s a big thing when you get to our league, being able to protect which he did well.  He’s not the biggest kid, but he’s very willing.  He’s 5’10”, 205-210 lbs.  A lot of that is the awareness, seeing the guys, finding the guys and picking them up.

On what his status in the RB depth chart will be this season:

He’ll be part of the group. I’m going to let the coaches figure that out.  Obviously, we all think he’s very talented or else we wouldn’t have picked him, so I’ll let them figure that out.

On if he was the best player available:

There’s other guys up there where he was. We all liked what we saw. I wouldn’t say best available, but there’s still some other positions up there which we think we’re pretty comfortable at this point.

On if his injury hurt his draft status:

He was only hurt I think two or three games.  He had about 800 yards rushing, and maybe he would’ve broken the 1,000-yard barrier, but I thought he would’ve already been gone by now. So I’m happy that he’s here.

On if he is a cut-back or hit-the-hole runner:

He’s got some wiggle.  But he will hit it up there.  For a 5’10”, 200 lbs. guy, he plays like a 6’1” 220 lbs.  He hits it hard.

On why he’s considered a great kid, personality or good student:

Both.  You will see when you interview him and when you meet him you’ll fall in love with him.

On if they knew of his special teams skills because he wasn’t a starter at North Carolina until this year:

Yes.  I went back and watched it, and he’s a real good gunner. He can return and a lot of the time, in our case, if you’re willing on tape and you’re tough on tape, like last year with Marcus Easley and Donald Jones, they were willing – obviously Marcus got hurt last year – but Donald did a good job on (special) teams this year.  With Johnny, he’s tough as heck.  We’ve seen him do it. We know he could be a gunner and he can help in the return game some, and on other coverage units.