Roddy White’s exile defies explanation

One of the two times Matt Ryan looked at Roddy White Sunday - broken up by 49ers Marcus Cromartie. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

One of the two times Matt Ryan looked at Roddy White Sunday – broken up by 49ers Marcus Cromartie. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

There being no rational explanation for the way Roddy White has been shunned by the Falcons offense – ignored like a car alarm in midtown – we are left grasping for the irrational.

This has gone beyond just emphasizing Julio Jones or cultivating the many talents of Devonta Freeman, and is, frankly, taking on the aspects of something personal, almost malicious.

What could White have done to be spurned in this manner?

Did he TP Kyle Shanahan’s car after practice one day?

Did he file a restraining order, and now the football can’t come within 500 feet of him?

Or, perhaps, he thought it would be funny to put some novelty fake dog squeeze in Matt Ryan’s cream of wheat?

Someone give us some cause for the Falcons going out of their way to not throw him the ball. Because we’ve witnessed no physical reason for this franchise’s leading all-time receiver to be so uninvolved. And because if this is all they are going to use White, there is no reason to even put him on the field. Might as well split a far cheaper decoy – be it deer, duck or goose – out wide.

Among the absurdities of Sunday’s loss at San Francisco were the mere two times White was targeted that afternoon. He is fifth on the team in targets, still trailing even the injured Leonard Hankerson.

This does more than bruise White’s ego. It weakens a Falcons offense that lately has produced plenty of empty yardage and not a lot of winning plays. Even at 34, White remains one of the most clutch, most competitive performers in that huddle.

When the Falcons were winning and he made some noise about being dissatisfied, there was reason to tell him to shush.

Now that they are struggling, and White has been rendered invisible not by defenses but by his own game-planners, he has a more legitimate platform from which to vent.

His baffling absence from the offense has reached critical mass. It has gone beyond the usual ebbs and flows of a season and become something resembling an organized banishment.

Having run out of any plausible explanations for this, there is little left to do but stand up, raise a fist and shout: “Remember Roddy White!”

Reader Comments 0

23 comments
Happy_Smith
Happy_Smith

Kyle.. Throw to Roddy or that pic of you with a BBC in your mouth goes on-line!

Marvinmooney
Marvinmooney

It's an artifact of the poor passing philosophy of Kyle Shanahan's offense. It really is the way the progression goes. Roddy is last and there's no way this line can block long enough for Ryan to get to the fourth or fifth receiver consistently. Kyle's offense lacks horizontal diversity and  defenses see that on film and capitalize on it. The force the ball to Julio approach  holds the offense back. 

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

Congrats  Steve,

You reached double digits in comments on this column.

dmacod
dmacod

Wow! Our O-Line isn't good at pass blocking. Our QB doesn't have the strongest arm, but this mantra about Roddy not in the progression makes me want to puke!  Julio is in the progression so we throw into triple coverage but not Roddy one on one.  Jacob Tamme is better than Roddy? You find ways to get him the ball. Make him relevant.  Is it solely the QB or  is it the audibles..  Time to let Ryan take Control completely, no huddle and see what happens...Yikes this is frustrating. 

Footfighter
Footfighter

Kyle Shanahan is just a cheap copy of his Daddy.  Little man, big ego, smaller talent. Roddy musta offended him in some way.  More likely, Kyle imagined an insult.  Such is the way of little guys. He deserves to be overruled on play calling.  Pathetic.

GASports
GASports

Yes Ryan is not doing the job that a Drew Brees or Aaron Rogers would do. He CANT cause he's NOT in the category. Thats why Atlanta wont make it to a Superbowl with this guy. He's a turnover machine as well. 


Anyway, this team could be 9 - 0 barring dumb turnovers/blocked punt in the end zone looking at Tampa Bay and New Orleans and a defensive end NOT containing the end allowing "Flake" Bortles to run for a 1st down in a critical situation.


Lost a lot a key personnel last week, perfect time for a bye week. 

candlin14
candlin14

@GASports


I think you mean Gabbert not Botles buddy. We have not played Jacksonville yet. You keep hating on Ryan, he will get us to the Super Bowl one day and you will praise him when he does. 

Big Wally
Big Wally

Shanahans' are notorious for being petty and vengeful.  Roddy probably didn't buy into something little Shanahan was going over during the summer, so Shanahan decided to exclude him from plays.

RickRN69
RickRN69

Matt Ryan is losing it! man they better right this ship. I hate to say it but they need to start looking at the QB position. Does anyone have Kaepernicks phone #. This team has so much potential and upside and we can win now. Get Roddy the ball, every receiver drops passes he missed 1 of 3. KS get creative, the are loading the box and 2 deep on the receivers. This won't get any easier this is copy cat league and all our enemies are watching this. Not to mention they are dropping a linebacker into the tight end throwing lanes. open up the play book and mix it up. Dan Quinn get a handle on this.

b1rdgang
b1rdgang

We are keeping Roddy for a reason so use him he has gas in the tank and if I do recall Roddy is excellent in the winter time so use all weapons and let's start winning let's be the team no one thinks we are...Riseup

falcon82111
falcon82111

I sure hope KLYE AND DAN SEE THIS !! MATT, YOU DON'T EVEN LOOK HIS WAY AND DON'T GIVE ME THAT PROGRESSION CRAP EITHER! MATT, YOU BEST REMEMBER WHO PUT YOUR A** ON THE MAP SON!!!!!!

AnsweredTHIS
AnsweredTHIS

@candlin

Man I hope you read this article! Do you honestly believe it is everyone else that thinks Roddy deserves more? Come on candlin the football world sees it! Roddy has a lot left in the tank...it is just the guys who are pumping the gas (Ryan & Shannahan) tell him they are out of gas!

Disgrace to see one of the greatest Falcons that could have helped in these last 5 games cant even get a sniff at the ball! As the article says, even if he was a decoy he cant even play decoy because they wont throw him the ball. Cant be a decoy without the threat of someone thinking you MIGHT get the ball. Roddy is a self check...meaning other teams dont even have to cover him!

candlin14
candlin14

@AnsweredTHIS


Of coarse I will read this article my man, but It does not mention the fact that White dropped a much needed 3rd down pass that would have moved the chains. I don't get the lack of targets either, but on his very first target of the game, in crunch time, late in the 3rd quarter, on 3rd and long, HE DROPS THE PASS!!! I don't get why this is not talked about.


I just don't see Roddy running routes with passion, or speed, or desire. I could be wrong, but I just dont see it. 


The problem is this offensive coordinator. Our offensive play calling is borderline awful. Very predictable and vanilla. 


The entire game we ran on first down typically for -3 or more yards. That is how a drive comes to a halt. I would be willing to bet there were four plus drives that ended because of this stupidity. When we finally called a play action on first we push the ball down field. I am completely pissed about the play calling, but I still can not blame #2 for every single loss. To many turn overs, awful center snaps, zero pressure on the opposing QB's, and god awful offensive blocking, not to mention god awful officiating. 

AnsweredTHIS
AnsweredTHIS

@candlin

He was thrown the ball twice and he dropped one. Happens. He does not play with passion now because of the lack of being involved in the offense! It would be like you going to work, busting your a$$ and no one ever asking you to turn in the work and then when you finally get a chance to do some of the work they expect you to be perfect!?

Come on man...

candlin14
candlin14

@AnsweredTHIS


I hear you, but when we finally call his number, Ryan drops a dime, and he drops it. That would have moved the chains and put us in field goal range. 


I just wish we would give Jake Long a shot. I do not understand this football teams reasoning behind things they do. I am still pissed that we didnt make a move before the trade deadline. What a joke

Ver1tas
Ver1tas

If I am Arthur Blank I am asking some hard questions as to how they justify the roll, or lack thereof, that Roddy White is playing. Late in the 3rd quarter with a 3rd and long Matt Ryan made an ill advised throw of about 25 yds  into triple coverage on Julio. The playback clearly shows Roddy wide open 15 yds down field. In fact it shows that his man has left him to fall into coverage on Julio, Just insane.

Snub Slimer
Snub Slimer

@Ver1tas  Thank you!! I saw that play, and that's when I realized something with this new management STINKS... I've been patient, I understand Roddy White isn't as young as springtime anymore, and we need to focus on Julio BUT DAMN, this guy is the most senior player (left) on the offense, and to see him blatantly ignored... while wide open... in favor of a pass to another receiver while he's triple covered is unacceptable... and tells me either there has to be a personal vendetta here or Roddy is dealing with some secret health issues (which I seriously doubt) 


Addy
Addy

You reporters should ask Quinn and Shannahan that question , instead of writing so many columns about it that no one reads.

sacks
sacks

The only way for White to play? Get rid of Shannahannahanna!!  The only way for the Falcons to win?  Get rid of the above!!

Saintsr4losers
Saintsr4losers

Shanahan is not what everyone thinks he is.Hope someone thinks he is worth hiring away. In the meantime we will watch this team fizzle from boon to bust and end up with another 7 win season.

DCDirtyBird
DCDirtyBird

We will win 9 games, but you're right about a potential do

Fall off. Shanahan has an ego problem and believes his system is above any individual player. In the NFL...players make systems look great.

AnsweredTHIS
AnsweredTHIS

@DCDirtyBird

The apple does not fall from the tree. His dad was the same way, and they destroyed not one but two QB's one who played for the Eagles and won consistently. McNabb ring a bell? RG3....And Ryan is up next! Henis a QB killer!