White has plenty weighing on him as Bills prepare for Texans
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Tre’Davious White had personal reasons for not sticking around to address questions from the media on Wednesday. The second-year cornerback, understandably, has plenty weighing on his mind.
On Sunday, White faces the challenge of defending DeAndre Hopkins, the NFL’s leading receiver, in Buffalo’s game at Houston. Last week, he learned the unsettling news of his mother being arrested for domestic violence for allegedly stabbing a man, according to TMZ and several television affiliates in northern Louisiana.
“I can’t talk today,” White said, pulling on his backpack and heading for the exit. “I’ve got to make a run.”
What’s not in doubt is White being ready Sunday.
“I think Tre’s always focused,” safety Jordan Poyer said of the second-year cornerback. “I think he’s got it at home, you know, ‘Each week this is the guy I’ve got to stop,’ because that’s what we expect of him. We all have confidence in him.”
White hasn’t lost a step in following up an impressive rookie season . The first-round draft pick finished with four interceptions, two of which sealed victories, and was one of only two NFL players to force five takeaways (four interceptions and a forced fumble and recovery) in the fourth quarter.
This season, White’s held his own in taking over the job defending an opponent’s top receiver on a full-time basis. He limited Chargers receiver Keenan Allen to six catches for 67 yards in Week 2, Minnesota’s Stefon Diggs to four catches for 17 yards in Week 3, and Green Bay’s Davante Adams to eight catches for 81 yards, though he didn’t cover Adams when he lined up in the slot.
White is doing his part while the starting job opposite him remains unsettled due to injuries and after projected starter Vontae Davis left the team during halftime against the Chargers and then retired.
“To be able to have a guy like him, who has the athletic ability and the mental toughness to match up and get us through some tough situations is a luxury,” defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said.
Bills coach Sean McDermott is impressed by how White, 23, has taken over the role of being team’s top shutdown cornerback.
“It’s a little bit unique with a young player like Tre’Davious to be able to do it this early,” McDermott said before noting how White wasn’t drafted until the 27th pick . “You think about the teams that passed up on him. It was a big move for us as far as that goes in getting a good football player.”
White was a four-year starter at LSU, where he earned All-America honors in his senior year. As a freshman, he developed his craft by going up against Tigers receivers Odell Beckham Jr., and Jarvis Landry in practice. In games, White’s first career interception was against current Dallas Cowboys starter Dak Prescott.
Bills receiver Kelvin Benjamin is so impressed by White’s ability to burst on the ball he refers to his teammate as “Quick-feet Tre.”
“It’s stupid. It’s stupid,” Benjamin said, shaking his head in wonder of White’s speed. “You’ve got to attack the ball as a wide receiver when he’s on you. And, he’s only going to get better.”
Good as White might already be, he has far loftier goals.
“I’ve told myself, I don’t want to come into this game and just be a cornerback in the league, just a normal guy on the team,” he told The Associated Press in August. “I’m chasing the Hall of Fame.”
White has plenty more to do before he can be included in that conversation.
White acknowledged he’s fueled by a fear of failure. It’s what motivated him as a teenager to become the first in his family to go to college and escape the tough neighborhoods of his hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana.
“It’s a fear of not being the best I can be. It’s a fear of going back to the situations I came from, just growing up,” White said. “I feel like there’s just so much riding on me that I put so much into this game, I’d do everything to prevent myself from being a failure, or not living up to my expectations.”