Receiver Myles White shows up bigger, stronger for Pack
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
GREEN BAY--Myles White had reason to be proud of his first season with the Green Bay Packers.
An undrafted rookie from Louisiana Tech with earlier stops at Michigan State and a junior college, White was rated No. 9 on the receiver depth chart entering 2013 training camp.
He wound up beating the odds to play 123 snaps after being promoted from the practice squad in mid-October to replace injured Randall Cobb.
Still, White was well aware that something in his game was missing. Edgar Bennett, the wide receivers coach, drummed home the point in their season-ending meeting.
“He just said I had to get bigger,” White said this week. “It’s a grown man’s league. I had to transfer my body to a man’s, and that’s what I did.”
White, who stands 6 feet ½ inch, reported at 182 pounds last summer but actually played at 180.
It was his 4.46-second speed and quick first steps that caught the Packers’ eye. He probably was the fastest wide receiver in camp.
White’s maiden season ended in his eighth game with a partially torn meniscus cartilage in his right knee. In the offseason, he signed up for the Michael Johnson Performance Athletic Training Center outside Dallas.
“It was strictly to get bigger and maintain that speed,” White said. “I’ve always believed I didn’t want to sacrifice speed for size. The workouts there helped me out a lot.”
White reported last week 12 pounds heavier at 192. Not only does he look like a new man, he played like one Monday in the opening day of pads.
Veteran Jarrett Bush, a rock-solid package of 200 pounds and extreme intensity, challenged White right away in the one-on-one drills. White ran a 10-yard dig with Bush tight to his hip up the stem of the route.
At the top, White cut left and shielded his body just enough from Bush’s to catch the pass from Aaron Rodgers.
How would a 180-pound White have fared against that coverage?
“I don’t think I’d make the catch,” he said. “I don’t think I’d get into that route, actually. I kind of had to push him to get through. I tried to muscle my way through just to get to the ball.”
In his next turn, White had a sideline route with tight coverage by rookie Ryan White before breaking it off beautifully to catch the back-shoulder toss from Rodgers.
“That was more like a chemistry throw,” Myles White said. “That throw comes just from experience, knowing that he’s going to put the ball behind you. Last year, I wouldn’t have known where he was going to throw it.”
Finally, White strung together two or three lightning-like jab steps to separate easily from Ryan White across the middle for another reception and clean sweep of the drill.
“With his technique he was giving me space,” Myles White said. “I just feel when a DB gives me space that he’s at my will.”
Last year, White served as the No. 3 receiver in Games 6-7 with both Cobb and James Jones down. He caught six passes for 44 yards in those two outings but got the stuffing knocked out of him after a few receptions and didn’t show any sustain in his run blocking.
White’s shortage of NFL size and power was glaring in everything that he did.
“I feel so much stronger than what I did before,” he said. “This league is such a bang-bang league. Now, I can run and get my shoulders down and take hits and break tackles.
“(Blocking) is another added portion of it. I’ll be able to hang on blocks more and come down on some bigger safeties.”