Quarterback Pat White warms up prior to playing the entire game against Tampa Bay. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

TAMPA — Quarterback Pat White hopes his bid to return to the NFL after a three-season absence didn’t end with the Washington Redskins’ preseason finale here Thursday night.

“I definitely want to continue playing the game,” White said. “I have a lot of passion for it. I love it. I’ve been playing it for a while now. I took a little break, which was a huge mistake on my part. But everything happens for a reason. I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity and happy that Coach gave me a chance.”

White played the entire game as the Redskins beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 30-12. He threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown. But he also ran for a touchdown and completed 13 of 22 passes for 181 yards.

“I’m just thankful to have this opportunity,” he said. “Who knows what’s going to happen. I don’t think I hurt myself. But I don’t know if I helped myself. Right now I’m just kind of, I guess, getting ready to come to work on Saturday.”

It’s unlikely that White has done enough to unseat veteran Rex Grossman for the Redskins’ third-quarterback job behind starter Robert Griffin III and top backup Kirk Cousins. But he clearly showed improvement throughout offseason practices, training camp and the preseason. The former second-round draft selection was out of the NFL the previous three seasons after playing one season for the Miami Dolphins in 2009.

“I think I’ve come a long way, mentally and physically,” White said. “But I still have a long way to go. I feel like as long and I still have an opportunity to step on the field — we all strive for perfection but never reach it.”

Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at mike.jones@washpost.com with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag.

What’s ahead:

● Brandon Meriweather hopes he’ll be able to play in Week 1.

● The second round of cuts, due by 4 p.m. Saturday, requires rosters to go from 75 to 53.

More about the Redskins:

Royster not sure if he’s done enough to make the roster

Five observations Chris Thompson makes strong bid for punt returner job

The Takeaway: The Redskins have a punt returner; fingers crossed at safety

Andrews clears Griffin to start Week 1 | Backups make their cases in 30-12 win

D.C. Sports Bog: A rough night for TV graphics | More Bog