Mobile, Ala.– Jack Del Rio and his coaching staff finished up preparation on Friday morning for the 2009 Under Armour Senior Bowl with a walkthrough at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala. Kickoff for the game is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. EST on Saturday and will be broadcast on NFL Network.
Del Rio hasn't gone very far in Mobile this week without getting asked about South Team and former West Virginia quarterback Pat White (pictured). White is native of Mobile and played at Daphne High School, making him a favorite among local media and fans this week.
White, 6-0, 190, is known for his playmaking abilities and is using this week to try to answer questions about his ability to play quarterback in the NFL. White won four bowl games at West Virginia and was named MVP in three of them. He owns 16 West Virginia, Big East and NCAA records and compiled a 38-8 record as a starter.
"He is going to have a chance to compete," Del Rio said. "He has made it known that he would like to play quarterback and would like a legitimate shot at playing quarterback. I think he acknowledges and recognizes he has some skill with the ball in his hands and some people are going to want to see him potentially as a slot receiver or another position. He's a competitive guy and he's done a nice job so far."
Del Rio said White has had a solid week of practice and just wants White to represent himself well in the game.
"For the most part, we want to do what Pat wants to do," Del Rio said. "He's come here and we want to let him compete on how he wants to showcase his ability. He's here as a quarterback, one of three quarterbacks. He's going to play quarterback in the game. Depending on how we finish up our preparation, he may take some snaps at another spot."
Jaguars quarterbacks coach Mike Shula has been working with White, Clemson's Cullen Harper and Alabama's John Parker Wilson this week. Shula was asked about the "Wildcat" offense earlier in the week and how White would fit in that scheme.
"You are seeing more and more of these teams in the NFL run some form of the offenses which are very similar to what West Virginia has done," Shula said. "You don't necessarily see quarterbacks doing it. You saw the Dolphins with Ronnie Brown doing it and some other teams doing it. I don't know. My initial impression is you want to find out as much as you can on how he can play in a pro-style offense and then use his other ability as an asset in addition to what he can do in a pro-style offense."
DID YOU KNOW
The first Senior Bowl was played in Jacksonville's Gator Bowl in 1951 and moved one year later to Mobile's Ladd-Peebles Stadium, where it has remained ever since.
The majority of NFL coaches and scouts left Mobile on Wednesday, reducing the number of people at Thursday's practice by well over a thousand. Each NFL team will receive a full tape sent to them of the workouts and of Saturday's game, which is being shot by the Jaguars video staff.
BUSY DAY FOR THE PLAYERS
The players are scheduled to visit the University of South Alabama Children's and Women's Hospital from 1:30-2:30 p.m. today. Following the visit, the Senior Bowl Experience featuring the Meet the Players program will be held at the Mobile Convention Center. Fans can meet and greet the players in two sessions from 3:30-6:30 p.m.
Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio and Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis decided to switch teams for at least a couple of hours last night. Del Rio and his staff were able to spend time in the meeting rooms with the North team while Lewis and his staff did the same with the South squad.
COMPETITION FIERCE IN PRACTICE
Louisville center Eric Wood is considered one of the top centers heading into the NFL draft and he has been getting some good work against the South defense in practice. The South team features one of the country's top seniors in USC linebacker Rey Maualuga.
"We haven't said much to each other and we've only had a few straight shots on each other," Wood told Bengals.com. "He's an intense player. He's strong and big. But we've all got the same goals here. We all want to raise our stock and we want to remain healthy. The coaches have done a great job here always reminding us never to play out of control. I'm not looking to help myself at the expense of another player."