Former Atlanta Falcon Roddy White (how weird is it to read that?) has returned from his Caribbean vacation, and now it’s time to hear his side of the story.
Speaking to ESPN.com Falcons beat writer Vaughn McClure, White didn’t hold back when giving his thoughts on the failures of the 2015 season and his relationship with offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.
“What [Shanahan] expected from me and what I expected from him was totally different,” White told ESPN.com. “I expected to play a bigger role in the offense, and that’s what I wanted to do. But he didn’t have that in his desires. He had other people that he wanted to play my role, so he wanted me to be out of the [offense]. That was the whole thing. And it is what it is. I can’t do nothing about it. I can’t change his way of thinking or anything like that. I can just do what I did, which was just handle my business and get myself prepared for this moment.”
(Also read: It’s been a really bad week for the Falcons)
Oh, but it got better. When asked about the rumors that surfaced in the middle of the season about the offense being too complex for White to master, he refuted those claims.
“It was just episodes throughout the game where I think he mismanaged things and screwed up and we didn’t have the opportunity to win the game, which, I thought, was on him as the offensive coordinator,” he told ESPN.com. “It wasn’t sound football, but it was things that he was used to doing and things we weren’t used to doing as an offense, and it literally cost us like two games.”
White also said he had multiple conversations with Shanahan over the course of the season where he tried to better understand his coordinator’s thought process and get on the right page.
“We didn’t turn no curves,” White told ESPN.com. “The first four weeks were good. We went out there and scored a bunch of points and started off strong. But other than that, we didn’t do nothing the rest of the year.
“We weren’t going out there and averaging over 20 points per game, which is bad. Prior to him being there, we could score 20 points sitting down. Our offense was never really a problem before.”
I know these quotes may seem harsh, and some might even take them as sour grapes, but why shouldn’t White be upset with the way things were handled last season? He was virtually ignored all year, and the team got worse and worse. Even Shanahan’s personal fave, Leonard Hankerson, couldn’t thrive in this offense – not even when he was healthy.
It also makes you wonder about this new coaching staff. If they couldn’t get the players on-board with what they were doing in Year 1, what’s going to happen if the team struggles again in 2016? Will head coach Dan Quinn and his staff totally lose the team just two years after taking over?
This train seems to be falling off the tracks already.
Photo: AP/John BazemoreFollow @Sean_Breslin