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White's Weight Loss Noticeable on Field

Posted Aug 2, 2009

Training Camp Central

 
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Not Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig or Nutrisystem. Forget about hiring a private chef to cook healthy meals.

LenDale White lost more than 30 pounds this offseason and is in his fourth training camp with the Tennessee Titans at his slimmest weight since high school. The running back admits he wishes he understood earlier in his career the importance of being in shape.

Just how did he lose the weight? White gave up tequila.

"I really got to be honest," White said. "It wasn't a lot of major diet changes. (It was) watching what I drink. I was a big Patron consumer. ... That's what it was. I was drinking a lot, drank a lot of alcohol. I cut that out of my diet all the way. I don't drink at all. I cut the drinking, I stopped drinking for six months.

"It started falling off."

White committed to losing weight after the Titans' playoff loss to Baltimore in January, and he was as low as 229 pounds during the offseason program. The running back whose draft stock dropped him from a potential top-15 pick coming out of Southern California in 2006 to the second round had plenty of doubters about whether he could show up at camp still lean.

Despite an occasional glass of wine with dinner, White reported at 228 pounds. That won him bets from friends, family and even teammates convinced he couldn't stay out of trouble.

"I made some people upset because they thought I'd be fat coming back, so it feels good. I'm really excited about this season," he said. "It was a long time coming. I finally came into camp in shape and feel like I'm in great shape. You guys, you've seen me. It's a tremendous difference."

White has looked much faster getting through holes and upfield through the first two days of camp. The weight loss is visible just from glancing at his no-longer-pudgy face.

He credits coach Jeff Fisher with staying patient with him. White backed up Travis Henry in 2006, started 16 games and ran for 1,110 yards in 2007, and split work with Pro Bowl rookie Chris Johnson in 2008. White led the AFC with 15 touchdowns rushing and tied for third in the NFL in scoring among non-kickers.

"Your parents always say you're going to learn. You're going to say it takes a while. It took me three and a half years, but I think I caught it right on time," White said.

Maybe it's easier to acknowledge with the weight loss or a number that may rise the longer White stays trim, but the running back now admits he was as heavy as 265 pounds last season when he ran for a career-long 80-yard touchdown. He had tabbed himself as being 261 in that game against Kansas City just a couple months ago.

Teammates and bosses have noticed. White said he's heard comments from staff members as high as general manager Mike Reinfeldt and owner Bud Adams, who told him Saturday that the running back looked like he had a new body. He's also heard from teammates like defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch, linebacker Keith Bulluck and center Kevin Mawae.

"Hopefully, he'll be able to last longer than he has in the past and go deep in the season and help us out," All-Pro left tackle Michael Roos said.

"We've still got time to see what happens, but he's looking good so far."

White's motivation can be attributed to this being a contract year. He insists he's worried about not fumbling as he did in that playoff loss and helping the Titans reach the Super Bowl, which would take care of a new deal.

"This is a new LenDale White, and I feel bad for a lot of people because they woke somebody up. I'm telling y'all they woke me up, and I'm happy they did too," he said.

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