James White Mic'd Up vs. the Vikings Will Make You Appreciate Him Even More

The NFL, in their infinite, self-defeating, media policy stupidity, will post a video like James White mic’d up against the Vikings, then set it to Destruct Mode if anyone dares put it on their website. On the theory that … I don’t know … they don’t want anyone else promoting interest in their product. So when the video above turns into an empty box, you can see it for yourself by clicking here. You can thank me afterwards.

There it is, in just over three minutes, his entire skill set on display. (Almost. There’s no blitz pickup, which he excels at.) His route running, as he beat Anthony Barr up the seam (on a pass to the flat caught by Rex Burkhead). His ability to get small through the hole. His change of direction. Making quick cuts through the line. Using his blockers up field on a swing pass or a screen. His ability to take a hit, as you can the sound of 320 lb bodies hammering his 5-10 frame in your guts. His fearlessness after the direct snap that got stuffed, telling Sony Michel “I thought the D-tackle got through. I saw my life flash before my eyes.”

And yet the best moment of all – astonishing really – was this exchange with Brady (you can’t pull this one down, NFL):

Tom Brady changing the play in the middle of the play.  Like 0.2 seconds after the snap. He didn’t even have the ball fully in his grasp before he determined White should break off whatever route was designed for him and run a check down instead. Complete. And it’s good for 10. That’s brilliant recognition by Brady, but an equally great reaction by White, being able to have the concentration necessary to pick up his quarterback’s audible and the wherewithal to do exactly what two quick syllables in the middle of the controlled chaos of the play told him to do. Next time we’re wondering why some gifted athletes don’t pan out in this offense, let’s try to remember that moment.

Unfortunately, White just happened to be mic’d up on a two-touchdown day for James Develin instead of one of his own. And as between-play banter goes, he’s OK, but he’s no Julian Edelman. Still, I could watch iso’d footage of him on every snap he plays. Let’s have the mic on him more, NFL Films.