LenDale White Said What?


After opting to “get out while the house is burning,” Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll continues to irk former Southern California players.

If you remember, Taylor Mays was clearly disappointed after Carroll passed on him in last April’s draft. “I definitely thought from the relationship we had, the things that he had told me about what I needed to be aware of with the draft process and things that I needed to do, I felt he told me the complete opposite of the actions that he took, which was definitely – it was alarming,” Mays told reporters following his selection the second round. “I understand it’s a business. But with it being a business, he needs to be honest. And that’s all I was asking for.”

Taylor Mays was supposed to be a first-round selection and could have been a top-ten pick had he declared early for the NFL following his junior season. If the Seattle Seahawks would have drafted him, he could have returned to his hometown and played for his college head coach.

Mays was obviously bitter, frustrated, and a little jealous that Carroll opted for a different safety in the draft.

Now, another former USC-standout, running back LenDale White, is speaking out against Seattle’s new head coach. LenDale White was acquired by the Seahawks for close to nothing during the NFL Draft but was abruptly released a few weeks ago.

LenDale White was expected to compete for the lion’s share of carries in Seattle. Instead, he is searching for a job and facing a suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

Aside from speculation, no one really knows why the Seahawks released LenDale White. It was reported that they were aware of his impending suspension and off-field issues, so the release was probably a result of poor work ethic or commitment. “It became apparent at this time LenDale White was not ready to be a member of the Seattle Seahawks,” general manager John Schneider said of the decision to cut ties with White.

If you ask White, however, he doesn’t know why the Seattle Seahawks decided to go in a different direction. “No one told me why I was released, so I don’t really know and I don’t like to comment on what-ifs or why,” White told the Tennessean earlier this week. “Obviously it didn’t work out for a reason. But … I love football and I am going to work hard. I did work hard. I look myself in the mirror and there are things I obviously need to change and I am working on that. But I had no clue it was coming. It’s crazy, really.”

It was obvious that LenDale White was excited about having an opportunity to play for his former head coach in Seattle. The release may have caught him off-guard, but I’ll trust the front office that it was justified.

Of course, White, like Mays, had a few things to say about Pete Carroll in a recent interview with Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean:

"White was wearing a USC shirt on Wednesday but didn’t want to discuss his relationship with Carroll. White used to speak glowingly about his college coach.“Pete Carroll? The same Pete Carroll who ran out on ’SC?’’ said White, shaking his head. “I have no comment on Pete. I better wait ’til I’m on a team one day before I say anything.’’"

Bitterness, frustration, a little bit of jealousy? Sounds like LenDale White needs to network with Taylor Mays – both players could spend hours talking about how their former college head coach turned his back on them in the National Football League.

I have hopes that wide receiver Mike Williams, another former USC-standout, can resurrect his career in Seattle and contribute to this year’s team. But if he doesn’t make it through training camp, stay tuned: we might have another bitter Trojan looking for a job.

Shaun Dolence: dolencesm@gmail.com
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