pictured: Mike Vrabel
Although every NFL team is black dominated to varying degrees, it is interesting that the three teams generally agreed to be the best entering the new season — New England, Indianapolis and San Diego — are among the very best when it comes to employing white players.
The Patriots significantly upgraded at the wide receiver position over the offseason, and when all is said and done Wes Welker may be seen as the biggest bargain of all, especially if Randy Moss reverts to his injury prone and/or team cancerous ways. Welker, New England's slot receiver, is almost always said to be a "possession" receiver with athletic limitations, but the fact is that he is a superb athlete with very good speed and outstanding elusiveness, as witnessed by his record breaking days at Texas Tech returning punts (and where he was also a big play receiver). The surprise isn't that Welker made the NFL after being cast off by San Diego and then nearly cut by Miami; what should be asked is why the NFL isn't filled by sure-handed, smart receivers who know how to get open, aka white receivers.
Tom Brady owns three Super Bowl rings and nothing more needs to be said other than he is a surefire first ballot Hall of Famer who has already achieved legendary status at the ripe old age of 30.
The Patriots almost always have a great offensive line to protect Brady, and again this season all of the starters are white. Nick Kaczur starts at RT, Stephen Neal at RG, Dan Koppen at C, Logan Mankins at LG, and Matt Light at LT. All are right around 300 pounds and are quite mobile and athletic, quite unlike the mostly ineffective sumos favored by many NFL teams.
All of the backups on the line are also white except for one. The backups are Wesley Britt, Russ Hochstein, Ryan O'Callaghan, and Lonie Paxton (long snapper).
Brady's backups are Matt Cassel and rookie Matt Gutierrez from Idaho State.
The two backup tight ends are David Thomas, the second year man from Texas who has strong receiving skills; and veteran Kyle Brady, who is primarily a blocker.
Heath Evans is the Patriots' fullback. He has strong running skills to go with nice speed for his size and, incredibly for the NFL, gets to run the ball on occasion. Evans ran for 192 yards in 2005 and 117 last year. As of yet the NFL has not ordered an investigation into this blatantly illegal use of a white "fullback."
It's been a long time since the Patriots started a white player on defense other than at linebacker, and it's no different in 2007. Starting OLB Mike Vrabel is a big-time talent who excels both at pass rushing and covering receivers. He's also used occasionally as a TD-catching tight end in goal line situations. Vrabel is now in his 11th season, while starting ILB Tedy Bruschi is in his 12th season. Bruschi, who is of part-Mexican descent, has overcome major health problems (he was a stroke victim) to come back and regain his starting job.
Backup LB Larry Izzo is the proverbial White Special Teams Demon. Mike Wright plays some in the line rotation at tackle.
NUMBER OF WHITE STARTERS: 9
APPROXIMATE NUMBER OF WHITE PLAYERS ON 53 MAN ROSTER: 22