Press Pass: Greg White

In this edition of "Press Pass" former Arena Football star and current Bucs defensive end Greg White talks about getting his first NFL sack, the difference between the AFL and the NFL and his journey from a seventh-round pick in 2002 to finally making his first NFL roster.

On the difference between the AFL and NFL

The plane flights are a lot easier. The food is a lot better. Yes, it's an upgrade, definitely an upgrade – not to take anything away from the AFL, but it's definitely an upgrade.

On getting his first sack

We practice hard out there, and that heat helped us out a lot because the Saints I don't think were ready for it. I would like to take all the credit for it, but I can't. We've got the D-line rushing, we've got our DBs playing well, and that's what happens when our whole team comes together – with the DBs, the D-line, the linebackers. So it was just a team effort.

On the need to get more pressure on opposing quarterbacks

We have four sacks as a team, and that's not good enough. We would like to be like the defense was before I was here – that's how I want to see it. But right now we've just got to keep working hard. We've just got to keep up with our pass rushing. Like [Gruden] said, when it's an obvious passing down, we need to hit the quarterback or sack the quarterback.

On getting pressure on the quarterback even if he's not sacked

Honestly, as far as pass downs go, we need to get there – definitely. We should get there. There are no excuses for that. In general, you definitely need to get there, too, when it's not an obvious passing down and they pass the ball.

On if the Bucs would have discovered him without the help of his former AFL Coach, Jay Gruden

They would've found me without him – no, I'm kidding. He's a real big reason why I'm here. He believed in me my first year when I first got here in Arena. I came in being a rookie, and the next year he franchised me. I give a lot of credit to him, a lot of credit to him. He fought for me, and I'm here now.

On the difference in play between the AFL and NFL

I think in Arena it's a lot faster because it's so closed [in]. And where you're pass rushing, the quarterback is right here instead of back there. So if you beat a guy in the league here, he has time to recover as opposed to when you are in Arena. When you beat them, they can't recover because the quarterback is right there. And the heat – definitely the heat has a lot to do with the difference. Obviously, the athletes have to be better because it's a wider field. There's more room for error.

On what position he played on offense

Tight end – I didn't play it that much. I scored a touchdown.

On him having done a flip on the field in the AFL but no celebration after his first sack with the Bucs

Well, it's a long game, man. Give me about six more weeks to get in shape. And hey, why not?

On DT Jovan Haye attempting a dance

Yes, Jovan – I'll work with him. I'll work with him.

On if he was thinking about the NFL while playing in the AFL

Honestly, no. For me, it was more of a personal thing because when Jay gave me the opportunity – when I was in the league in '02, I didn't think I really got an opportunity – I signed on to win an ArenaBowl championship. Just like when I signed on here, I signed on to win a Super Bowl. I didn't sign on for anything else – just to win a Super Bowl. When I was in Arena, it was to win the Arena championship, and what came after that was a bonus. I think most of the guys should go in to the AFL like that, and then stuff will happen for them.

On the quarterback being a farther distance away from the rush in the NFL as compared to the AFL

The error margin is probably greater. It really depends. Rushing here, you have a longer way to get there, so you've got to work I guess twice as hard, as opposed to the AFL where you beat them and you are right in his face.

On which team he thought he was closest to making it with

Chicago. I thought I was pretty much in because I think I was second on the team in sacks during the preseason. I thought maybe.

On what getting that first sack means

It means that the bar is set, and you've got to get more sacks. It gets tougher. They expect more from you, and they should. You don't really get to celebrate. Once everything is over with, you're like ‘Oh, I got a bunch of sacks.' But during, you just want to pile on as many as you can.

On what getting a sack means

It's a boost to our defense, our team as a whole. The guy you're going against – he's frustrated. I've learned that in Arena it's man-on-man. You either get beat by the man or you beat the man. Here, you have a schematic approach in a sense where you are doing a lot of stunts and stuff. You can't do that really in Arena football, so I think that Arena helped me out a lot because I had to go man-on-man most of the time. If I go one-on-one, I'm used to it.


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