On Sunday, Tampa Bay defensive end Greg White will return to Houston, where his football career began and nearly ended in 2002.

The Texans, who were the NFL's latest expansion team, invested a seventh-round draft pick in White, who played collegiately at Minnesota.

However, White's stint with Houston was short-lived as he was released during his rookie training camp.

That was just the beginning of White's journey, which began in Houston and took him to Tampa Bay, Tennessee, New Orleans, Washington, back to New Orleans and back to Washington as a member of those teams' respective practice squads.

Ask White how many teams he attempted to latch on to and he'll give you a good idea without giving you an exact number.

"I stopped counting," White said of how many visits he had received from the Turk, which is nickname of the member of each team's front office that must inform a player when they are being released and asks for their playbook.

After his second stint in Washington ended, White was about ready to give up on his pursuit of a football career in 2004.

"There were just so many doors closing and not enough doors opening," said White. "I got to a point when I was like, "Maybe this ain't for me.'"

With a family to support, White sought out employment elsewhere to make ends meet. He delivered water, worked as a factory line employee, delivered pizzas on weekends and even worked for Best Buy in New Jersey and New York.

Opportunity knocked again for White when he signed with the Chicago Bears, who immediately allocated him to NFL Europe. After the Bears cut him, White gave the Canadian Football League a shot.

White put try-outs on hold in the NFL, but he wasn't opposed to new opportunities that allowed him to play football for a living. That's what led him to the CFL and eventually the Arena Football League, where he won 2007 AFL Defensive Player of the Year by notching a league-high 15 sacks as a member of the Orlando Predators.

Orlando head coach Jay Gruden, who is the younger brother of Tampa Bay head coach Jon Gruden, recommended White to the Buccaneers last spring and summer, but White hesitated to audition for the Bucs again after his stint in Tampa Bay and several other NFL cities had led to disappointment.

White also didn't want to ruin a good thing in Orlando, where was considered a rising star in the AFL.

"Even when the opportunity came up here I hesitated to do it," White said. "They asked me three of our times and I really didn't want to do it because I didn't really want to be greedy. I was content with where I was in the Arena League. They gave me the opportunity and they believed in me. I had a fan base for the first time."

But the Gruden brothers and Buccaneers defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin finally talked White in to giving the NFL one more shot.

"Jay talked to me a few times, and then I talked to Jon and talked to Coach Kiffin," said White. "They talked me into it by telling me I wouldn't want to look back and think, ‘What if?' They figured I might regret it."

When White joined the Bucs in training camp he was coming off of an impressive season in the AFL, which gave him a lot of confidence and a stronger resume'.

"I led the Arena League in sacks, so I had a lot more in my arsenal this time," said White. "When I was talking to [Bucs defensive end Greg] Spires he said, ‘You are definitely not the same player as the one I saw in '02.'"

Not only did he earn a 53-man roster spot coming out of Tampa Bay's training camp, the 28-year-old White is making a significant impact on the Bucs defense, which ranks No. 4 overall in the NFL after finishing last season ranked 17th.

The 6-foot-3, 270-pound White currently leads the Bucs in sacks with 5.5 and he has added 35 tackles, four forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in 12 games (two starts).

White doesn't necessarily hold a lot of ill will against the Texans for releasing him, but he is looking forward to showing them what they could have had — and should have held on to — at Reliant Stadium on Sunday.

"I have a little bit towards them, but I'm just going to go out there and work hard and try to make plays for the Buccaneers," said White.

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