Stylez White: ‘I've been cut left and right'

The Vikings' newest defensive end knows the business of football too well, saying that being cut "rolls off my sleeve." The Vikings are his eighth NFL team, and he went through six of them before finding a pretty productive four-year ride with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

For all the dramatics that might be associated with a name like Stylez G. White – and the reason for the name change was an interesting one – the Vikings' newest defensive is well aware of the realities and cruelties of the NFL world.

"I've been cut left and right. It rolls off my sleeve right now. It really does," he said Tuesday, coming off his first practice at Winter Park. "I remember when I first got cut to [now], it's no big deal to me. It's business. I try to have no hard feelings toward anyone."

White has certainly had plenty of practice getting accustomed to life on the waiver wire as many teams called his number. He was drafted in the seventh round by the Houston Texans in 2002, the same draft that produced David Carr and Jabar Gaffney as the Texans' first two picks. From there, it was on to Tampa Bay and Atlanta during that same season, then Tennessee, New Orleans and Washington over the next two years, and finally Chicago in 2005. Throughout all those travels, he never got into a game.

After a stint in NFL Europe, where he registered a league-high seven sacks in 2005, he went on to the Arena Football League. Eventually, in 2007, he worked his way into an NFL rotation with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It was the start, finally, of a pretty productive four-year time for a former seventh-round draft choice.

In what was officially his rookie NFL season, he registered eight sacks and a franchise-record-tying seven forced fumbles. He continued to produce in a part-time role – five sacks in 2008, 6½ in 2009 and 4½ last year.

But, once again, White was looking for a job after the Bucs decided to go the younger route. In the first round of this year's draft, Tampa Bay selected defensive lineman Adrian Clayborn, and the Bucs followed that selection with another lineman, Da'Quan Bowers, in the second round.

"They had no need for me. I guess my time was done there," White said. "They moved on. They had two draft picks, first, second round. I guess that was the writing on the wall for me. This is a business."

White found that business was especially slow for him and many other free agents following the NFL lockout. He knew the Vikings had interest, but he wasn't sure how serious they were. He just kept his phone at the ready, per instructions from his agent, Jack Bechta.

"It's slow-motion right now. My agent expected to get some phone calls toward the end of training camp once people see what they have and who can and who can't [perform]," White said. "I was expecting to play sometime this year."

As far as White knows, he will be working mostly at left end as a backup to Brian Robison, but he clearly brought quickness to the defensive line. During his first day of practice Tuesday, he was routinely beating backup offensive linemen during one-on-one drills.

He tried to keep in shape during the offseason by doing some kick boxing and agility drills, but he realizes he isn't in football shape yet.

"Doesn't matter how good of shape you're in, getting in football shape is a whole other level," he said. "You can't just go out there and do drills and expect to be ready to play football. It helps, but I'm not in football shape yet."

One advantage he has during his hurry-up-and-learn mode with the Vikings is that he will be operating in a somewhat similar defense to Tampa Bay's scheme from the last four years. As usual, the terminology is a little bit different, but he is already picking up on some of it.

So, with football questions out of the way, there is the matter of the name change. White said he won't answer to "Greg" anymore. He changed his first name to Stylez (pronounced Styles) in 2008 because of his appreciation for the character Rupert "Stiles" Stilinski in the movie Teen Wolf.

"He branded himself. I try to brand myself. I've still got a life after football," White said.


Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.



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Throughout all those travels, he never got into a game. After a stint in NFL Europe, where he registered a league-high seven sacks in 2005, he went on to the Arena Football League. Eventually, in 2007, he worked his way into an NFL rotation with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It was the start, finally, of a pretty productive four-year time for a former seventh-round draft choice. In what was officially his rookie NFL season, he registered eight sacks and a franchise-record-tying seven forced fumbles. He continued to produce in a part-time role – five sacks in 2008, 6½ in 2009 and 4½ last year. But, once again, White was looking for a job after the Bucs decided to go the younger route. In the first round of this year's draft, Tampa Bay selected defensive lineman Adrian Clayborn, and the Bucs followed that selection with another lineman, Da'Quan Bowers, in the second round. \"They had no need for me. I guess my time was done there,\" White said. \"They moved on. They had two draft picks, first, second round. I guess that was the writing on the wall for me. This is a business.\" White found that business was especially slow for him and many other free agents following the NFL lockout. He knew the Vikings had interest, but he wasn't sure how serious they were. He just kept his phone at the ready, per instructions from his agent, Jack Bechta. \"It's slow-motion right now. My agent expected to get some phone calls toward the end of training camp once people see what they have and who can and who can't [perform],\" White said. \"I was expecting to play sometime this year.\" As far as White knows, he will be working mostly at left end as a backup to Brian Robison, but he clearly brought quickness to the defensive line. During his first day of practice Tuesday, he was routinely beating backup offensive linemen during one-on-one drills. He tried to keep in shape during the offseason by doing some kick boxing and agility drills, but he realizes he isn't in football shape yet. \"Doesn't matter how good of shape you're in, getting in football shape is a whole other level,\" he said. \"You can't just go out there and do drills and expect to be ready to play football. It helps, but I'm not in football shape yet.\" One advantage he has during his hurry-up-and-learn mode with the Vikings is that he will be operating in a somewhat similar defense to Tampa Bay's scheme from the last four years. As usual, the terminology is a little bit different, but he is already picking up on some of it. So, with football questions out of the way, there is the matter of the name change. White said he won't answer to \"Greg\" anymore. He changed his first name to Stylez (pronounced Styles) in 2008 because of his appreciation for the character Rupert \"Stiles\" Stilinski in the movie Teen Wolf. \"He branded himself. I try to brand myself. I've still got a life after football,\" White said. 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