Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Roddy White realises that the best thing for the Atlanta Falcons is for him to share the load at wide receiver with Julio Jones and Harry Graham rather than hog all the passes.
Roddy White realises that the best thing for the Atlanta Falcons is for him to share the load at wide receiver with Julio Jones and Harry Graham rather than hog all the passes.

NFL: Roddy White flags the me-first attitude

Roddy White is still confident. Outspoken. But he also realises the way to winning in the post-season will be for him to share the ball more with his fellow Atlanta Falcon receivers.

Roddy White does not shy away from the diva tendencies of many successful receivers.

He is confident.


But White has taken on a different role for the Atlanta Falcons this season.

For the first time in his eight-year career, White is no longer the Falcons' undisputed best player at his position, not with Julio Jones entering his second season.

If White's numbers are down this year, he says so be it.

"I told them earlier in the season that I don't want to be the most targeted receiver in the NFL," White said. "We've got a lot of good playmakers and we've got to spread the ball around. We've got to get everybody involved in the game plan."

White promises he will not be upset if Jones, last year's No 6 overall draft pick out of the University of Alabama, catches more passes and scores more touchdowns for the Falcons in the coming campaign.

That does not mean White will not speak his mind, but with goals such as winning his first play-off game and helping Atlanta reach the Super Bowl, he is putting the team first.

"I think Roddy has a great attitude," said Mike Smith, the Falcons coach. "Roddy has been a perennial Pro Bowl player, and I think he'll continue to be that kind of player. Where his numbers are going to be, who knows? But I can assure you that defences are going to have to figure out how they're going to defend Roddy White.

"He's that type of player."

While earning his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl invitation last year, White led the NFC in catches for the second successive season and became the eighth receiver to catch at least 80 passes for 1,000 yards receiving for five years in a row.

In last week's pre-season loss to the Baltimore Ravens, Matt Ryan, the Falcons' quarterback, targeted Jones seven times and White five times.

Jones caught six passes for 109 yards, one of them a one-handed grab for a touchdown.

White had three catches for 46 yards.

Now that the No 3 receiver Harry Douglas has returned from a rib injury, White might have even less chances tonight when the Falcons (0-1 pre-season) host the Cincinnati Bengals (1-0).

"Like I said, if we're going to go out there and sling it, then we've got to get everybody involved, especially Julio and Harry," White said.

"They're going to be very important to our offence and what we do out there on the field."

Although Jones's size and speed could make him more of a deep threat, Smith still considers White to be the team's top target.

"He's our No 1 receiver, and you've got to try to defend him first and foremost," he said.

"And then certain weeks they're going to try to stop somebody else, and Roddy's going to get his opportunities."


twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Manager Matt Williams benching star Bryce Harper, above, may have sent the wrong message to the rest of the Washington Nationals. Mike Ehrmann / AFP

Benching Harper sends Williams’s right message the wrong way

Matt Williams, the Washington Nationals manager, made the biggest move of his 18-game tenure on Saturday, benching rising star Bryce Harper for his “lack of hustle”.

 Players such as George Springer are a sign that things are starting to swing in the Houston Astros' favour. But more help is needed. Scott Halleran / AFP

Houston Astros are still earth-bound but is on the way

As harbingers of a new era go, the Houston Astros could have done worse than misspelling their new phenom’s name on his major-league debut.

 Luis Suarez became the first Liverpool player to score 30 Premier League goals in a season since Ian Rush in 1987. Stefan Wermuth / Reuters

Sterling and Suarez inpire Liverpool to win over Norwich City

The win takes the Premier League table-toppers to 80 points from 35 games.

 Jack Wilshere has endured several injury setbacks since breaking into the Arsenal first team as the club’s youngest league debutant at the age of 16 years and 256 days when coming on against Blackburn at Ewood Park in September 2008. Michael Regan / Getty Images

Arsene Wenger backs Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere to be ‘polished’ for World Cup

England midfielder on schedule to be available next month – in time for the FA Cup final against Hull on May 17.

 Chelsea’s manager Jose Mourinho, second from right, holds back assistant coach Rui Faria, centre, after he was sent off by referee Mike Dean, left, during their Premier League match against Sunderland at Stamford Bridge in London. Philip Brown / Reuters

Angry Jose Mourinho mocks referees for ‘fantastic performance’ after Chelsea defeat

Manager targets Mike Dean, who awarded the 82nd-minute penalty from which Fabio Borini scored the winning goal for Sunderland.

 Michelle Wie’s other two LPGA titles also came in North America, at the 2009 Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Mexico and at Canadian Women’s Open in August of 2010. Jamie Squire / Getty Images

Michelle Wie’s win snaps LPGA title drought

The American, who erased a four-shot deficit to win with a 14-under par total of 274, wins her third career LPGA crown.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National