If you watched the 2014 season of HBO’s “Hard Knocks” that featured the Atlanta Falcons, you know wide receiver Roddy White keeps no secrets that he’s on the back end of his career, and he would like to win a ring before he takes off the uniform for good.
So it’s mighty strange that amidst one of the franchise’s best starts ever, the Falcons lifer has been rumored to be unhappy with his reduced role in the offense.
The issues started a few days ago, when he was quoted by ESPN.com Falcons beat writer Vaughn McClure as being a little frustrated that his catches have gone down considerably. Through four games, White has just six catches for 92 yards, and he’s only been targeted 13 times. In his prime, he was getting those numbers in a single game, not four.
“For me, at the end of the day, I want to catch passes. I’m not out here just f—ing around just to sit around to just block f—ing people all day. It’s not what I want to do,” was the first half of his quote.
Things got even weirder when White was excused from practice the next day. So what’s up with the four-time Pro Bowler?
For one, it’s hard to tell if White was seriously ticked off when he uttered these words, or if he was being his usual joking self. That’s not communicated in writing, so for all we know, White was clowning around with the ESPN.com beat writer.
But here’s what has happened since then. White clarified that the excusal from practice was because his mother was undergoing surgery that afternoon, as he said during a meeting with the media on Thursday.
White also told ESPN.com that he met with head coach Dan Quinn, and both now feel better about his role on the offense.
That’s good news for Falcons fans, because White does a lot more than just catch footballs. He’s a phenomenal blocker, and that’s been a big help when running back Devonta Freeman runs the ball outside the tackles. So it’s not all about the stat sheet, and White needs to understand that he has to keep doing the little things if this team is going to make a deep run in the playoffs.
And there’s no doubt that’s something Roddy really wants.
Photo: AP/John Bazemore