New England Patriots: Tracy White

Beyond the Big 3: Tracy White

March, 10, 2013
Tracy WhiteMelina Vastola/US Presswire
Much of the attention around pending Patriots free agents has been paid to Wes Welker, Aqib Talib and Sebastian Vollmer, three of the team's critical starters. But the Patriots have a number of other free agents who could hit the open market on March 12, and we'll use this space to review them and recap their 2012 season.

Player: Tracy White

Position: Linebacker

Key 2012 stats: 11 games played, 1 start, 11 tackles


Should the Patriots re-sign Tracy White if what it would take is a 1-year, $950,000 deal?


Discuss (Total votes: 3,706)

Playing time (defense): 71 of 1,112 snaps (6.4 percent)

2012 season recap: White's role in 2012 was what he has made a living off of in the NFL: being a core special teams player with good movement skills in open space to play as a coverage player on kickoffs and punts. He played a minimal defensive role in sub packages, but his greatest value is rooted in his special teams contributions.

Outlook: White is the kind of free agent that won't draw much attention publicly but has value to many teams. Core special teams players are important to identify, and White has enough ability to be a spot-duty defensive contributor as well. He's a well-respected veteran that seems like a good fit in New England.

Projection: Re-signed for 1-year, $950,000. He's an under-the-radar contributor, but the Patriots have always valued special teamers. White could come back on a deal similar to the one he signed last offseason and make 2014 his fourth with the Patriots.

LB White not spotted at practice

October, 10, 2012
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots were without linebacker Tracy White for the start of their Wednesday practice, held in rainy conditions.

White left Sunday's game against Denver with a left foot injury and did not return.

Safety Steve Gregory (hip), receiver Julian Edelman (hand), and tight end Michael Hoomanawanui (concussion), who did not practice on Friday, were not spotted at the start of Wednesday's session, which was held in light shoulder pads.

Tight ends Aaron Hernandez (ankle) and Rob Gronkowski (hip), as well as linebacker Dont'a Hightower (hamstring) were all on the practice field on Wednesday. Hernandez and Hightower did not play in Sunday's game.

White leaves with foot injury

October, 7, 2012
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots linebacker Tracy White left early in the third quarter of Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos with a foot injury.

After being examined by trainers on the sideline, who removed White's left shoe, White walked to the locker room under his own power. The team announced his return is questionable.

White had started at linebacker in place of rookie Dont'a Hightower, who was inactive for the game with a hamstring injury.

Veteran linebacker Bobby Carpenter, who was re-signed earlier this week, is expected to take over for White if he does not return.

White ready for special challenge

November, 10, 2011
CBS ScreenshotTracy White (58) couldn't slow Joe McKnight on a big second-half kick return.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Ask Tracy White about special teams in this week's matchup with the Jets and he starts with two numbers: 25 and 40.2. That would be Jets No. 25, returnman Joe McKnight, and his league-leading kickoff return average.

White stressed the importance of limiting the Jets' returns this week and it's clear that an 88-yard return by McKnight that set up one of New York's touchdowns in the first meeting this season still sticks in his craw. White had the best shot at hauling McKnight down (see screenshot) before the running back exploded through the pack. McKnight finished with 198 yards on five kickoff returns and White doesn't plan to let that happen again.

"Our main concern is 25 -- McKnight -- he's leading the league that 40.2 average," said White. "We're keying on him.

"This week is our biggest challenge because the Jets are the only team that has really affected us this whole year, especially with the long return. We just gotta lock down, anchor down. We're working hard this week."

White has heard coach Bill Belichick's grumbles about the Patriots' lack of production from their own return game -- including in special teams meetings. White is quick to point out that it's not just on the returnman, but the blocking in front of him.

"It’s not one guy, it’s a team effort, but I put a lot of pressure on myself," said White. "I take a lot of pride [in special teams], so, coach Belichick, when he comes into the meetings, I take that to heart. When he’s saying we gotta do better in the kickoff return game, I want to be 100 percent out there, I want to be perfect. I take pride in that. When he says that, it kinda gets to me. If we're not getting the yards out there, I'm like, well, we all gotta block better."