Biggs: White hasn't put up diva act in Atlanta
If you’re not going to blame the holdout, you need to blame something because Roddy White’s production is way down in Atlanta.
As D. Orlando Ledbetter reports in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, White has yet to take flight this season in the Falcons offense after a nine-day holdout helped land him a $49 million, six-year contract extension.
“Yeah, it's going to improve,” White told Ledbetter. “I just feel like I'm off to a slow start.”
Through three games, White has 15 receptions for 119 yards (7.9 average) and he’s been targeted on 26 passes. There have been some drops mixed in there, but the longball from quarterback Matt Ryan has yet to come. White averaged 15.7 yards per catch last season when he set a franchise record with 1,382 yards receiving. His career average is 15.4. That’s what makes his numbers so out of whack, especially when you consider the Falcons imported tight end Tony Gonzalez to diversify their passing attack and keep opposing defenses honest.
The best thing about the situation right now, though, is White isn’t going diva and demanding the ball, and clamoring that he has been open and hasn’t been recognized.
“We are throwing the ball deep,” he said. “We had a couple of opportunities. We've just missed on a couple. The times that we did go deep, the timing wasn't right.
“We are just going to take this week to get better. Go out there and work on our timing.”
It’s not just White who has missed the deep ball. Ryan’s longest completion has been 26 yards to Michael Jenkins, who is averaging a team-high 12.7 yards per catch. The work is being distributed pretty evenly with Jenkins at 12 catches and Gonzalez with 13. It’s going to come for Atlanta, especially with the threat the Falcons pose in the running game.
If the bye this week proves helpful, the Falcons should come back next week in better position. Only three games have been played, but three of the Falcons’ next four opponents rank in the bottom third of the league in pass defense—San Francisco (24th), Dallas (27th) and New Orleans (22nd).
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