JJ Stankevitz at nbcsports.com interviews former Bears wide receiver, Kevin White, who doesn’t appear to be too happy with the way he was treated in 2018 by head coach Matt Nagy:
When I asked White what went wrong in 2018, he sort of bristled at the notion I was looking for the answer to be about him. Instead, he repeated this word seven times: “Business.”
White felt like he was playing the best football of his career in 2018. It started with a good showing in a mid-April minicamp and continued into OTAs that spring. Nagy wanted White to stack practices; White did that. Coaches and teammates did what they could to build up White’s confidence and keep him engaged, even though he didn’t have a clear path to playing.
“I would go on scout team and go against the first team just to show, like, you wanna see it again? I’ll show it again,” White said. “So I didn’t see anything coming from it so I would kind of shut down sometimes. Like, man, y’all got it. I don’t know what else you can do. I’m preparing like I’m about to go out there and get 10 (catches) for 100 (yards).
“And then I get to the game and it’s on the bench. Nothing. Nothing.”
This has led reporters like Adam Hoge, also at nbcsports.com, to go back to their notes from 2018 to see what they wrote about White’s performance. They don’t seem to match what White said:
…I don’t agree with his own assessment of his play – especially in 2018. I would argue White was given plenty of opportunities to prove himself that year and didn’t take advantage of them.
White described himself as playing the best football of his career that summer. I have notes from OTAs that year that suggest otherwise, although in fairness, reporters only get to view one practice a week during OTAs. During training camp, when the pads went on, I remember a few splash plays, but I also remember White struggling to get open. On Aug. 10, 2018, I wrote in my “10 Bears Things” column:
I’m less focused on whether or not White can stay healthy and more focused on whether or not he can actually play wide receiver at the NFL level. We’re now three weeks and two preseason games into training camp and I’m still waiting for some kind of answer.
It’s nice to have a reporter’s point of view on this but they are, after all, just reporters. And all of them would acknowledge that they were only able to see a small portion of the practices.
But there is one absolute fact that argues against White and in favor of Matt Nagy’s decision not to play him.
White was picked up by the Arizona Cardinals last year and was released in August. He also had a try out with the Detroit Lions. Neither team thought he had enough to help them. I’m therefore having a hard time believing he could have helped the Bears.