Packers Workout: Championship QB

In our 41st draft exclusive, we talked to the athletic quarterback who worked out for the Packers this week. Chris Whitney led Villanova to the 2009 FCS national championship.

Chris Whitney grew up in suburban Philadelphia so he knows a little bit about playmaking quarterbacks.

"Growing up, I was an Eagles fan so I always watched Randall Cunningham when I was younger," Whitney, Villanova's star quarterback, told Packer Report on Wednesday, a couple days after he worked out for the Packers, 49ers and a couple other teams on campus. "I just loved him growing up because I feel like I have a similar style of just finding a way to make a play, just like he did. And I watched Donovan McNabb for a number of years, too. When a play broke down, he'd find a way to make a first down."

Whitney made a lot of plays while turning the Wildcats into more than just a basketball powerhouse.

As a junior, he led Villanova to the Football Championship Subdivision national championship. As a senior, he led Villanova back to the national semifinal game. Combined in his three seasons as a full-time starter, he completed 65.8 percent of his passes with 50 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. Plus — in Cunningham fashion — he rushed for 2,060 yards and 23 more touchdowns.

That do-anything approach helped him post a career record of 34-10 as a starter and a 7-2 mark in the playoffs.

"I think my strengths are finding a way to win — I had a pretty good record in college as a starting quarterback — my leadership skills and if a play breaks down, just finding a way to make a play and get the first down if it's third-and-short," he said.

The 6-foot-2 Whitney said he was pleased with his workout, which included about 30 passes. But it's not so much his arm talent (he's got a decent arm) and athletic ability (plenty of that) as it is the intelligence (all-conference on the field and academically) and intangibles that are sure to impress teams.

"As a quarterback, if you're not a leader, I don't think you can be a good quarterback," he said. "Even if you're not the captain of the team, everybody's still looking at you. You've got the ball in your hands every play. I think being a good leader comes with being a quarterback."

Like most kids, Whitney dreamed about playing in the NFL. And while he's not likely to be drafted, he just wants a chance to fulfill that dream.

"I think I can be a successful quarterback in the NFL," he said. "Once I get that chance I'll be able to show teams my talents and my ability to be a good quarterback."


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport.


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