Roddy White, Dan Quinn have 'much-needed' talk about role

ByVaughn McClure via ESPN logo
Friday, October 9, 2015

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons veteran wide receiver Roddy White, who was away from the team Wednesday as his mother underwent surgery, rejoined his teammates Thursday and had a cordial conversation with coach Dan Quinn regarding his role.

Immediately following this past Sunday's victory over the Houston Texans, White told he prioritized winning first but wanted to see more offensive touches rather than just being a blocker. The franchise's all-time leading receiver, White is fifth on the team this season with six catches for 92 yards. He has been targeted 12 times.

"It's really not a controversy," White said. "My role is what it is. I've talked to DQ, and we've gotten past that. There are certain things that get out into the media, and people just take it way too far. I'm on a positive note. We're 4-0. And that's what it is right now."

White was asked to describe the conversation with Quinn.

"It went good; it went good,'' he said. "We sat around and just talked about what I wanted to do, what I expected, and [where] I wanted to come from, from this point going forward. So it was really good. We had a good sit-down.

"We just talked about football, my role in the offense and what it's going to be. It was a much-needed conversation. I walked out of there with my head up, and it went well. It went really, really well."

White said he understands the progressions in the offense and how targets might not always come his way. Julio Jones, with a team-leading 38 receptions for 478 yards on 53 targets, is the primary option. Leonard Hankerson has emerged as the second-leading receiver with 241 yards on 17 catches and 29 targets.

"It's just timely," White said. "Sometimes, you've got to sit back and just be patient. And I haven't been very patient around here, for the time I've been around here for a very long time, because I've been getting a lot of passes thrown to me. How people are going to guard us, it's going to change up from week to week, and I know that as a veteran player. ... I've just got to be patient and wait my turn."

Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said he spoke with White, as well.

"You just talk to a guy," Shanahan said on handling such situations. "Make sure nothing's personal. You're just open with somebody, and you talk to them about it. I talked to Roddy today, and I definitely feel totally fine about it. I think he does, too.

"Everybody gets frustrated when they don't get the ball. And I think Roddy has handled it well with us. He's been great here in this building. And I think if we would have played four quarters of football the way (Houston's) coverages were going and stuff, I think he would have ended up getting a lot more balls. He would have had to, the way they were playing their coverages. We were going to have to spread it around a bunch."

Shanahan was referring to last Sunday's 48-21 win over the Texans, during which White had two catches for 8 yards on four targets while playing 48 snaps. The starters were rested in the fourth quarter with the game all but decided. And the other receivers were open earlier in the game because the Texans double-covered Jones, who finished with a season-low four catches for 38 yards.

White said his mother, who remains in the hospital, is doing OK.

"My mom is one of the most important persons in my life at this point of my career and all the things that she's done for me," White said. "She's so important. She's played such a big role in me being where I am today. So it was important for me to be there with her."

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