Far be it from me to presume that the readers here at Field Gulls would not be aware of a star player like Roddy White of the Atlanta Falcons, a player we will get to see quite a bit of on Sunday. Still, in preparation of getting to see one of the most exciting players in the NFL, here is a list of some things you may already know and some things you may not.
Here are a eight "things" about Roddy White:
Roddy White is an NFL Wide Receiver
I know that Roddy White is an NFL player because of this highlight video I watched. Like the opening credits of Dexter, you can just skip the first 55 seconds. Also, if you skip to about 2:50 you can see him score on the Seahawks!
He's a little over 6 feet tall, 210 lbs, has amazing hands, and is able to make small plays into much bigger ones. White has averaged 93 catches, 1,282 yards, and 8 touchdowns over the last four seasons. After facing Mike Wallace and Larry Fitzgerald, White is the third straight elite wide receiver that gets to play the Hawks. As you remember, they were unable to contain Wallace (8 for 126) but Marcus Trufant did a nice job on Fitzgerald.
Roddy has played in two games against Seattle in his career: 5 catches for 64 yards in 2007 and last season in Seattle he had 7 catches for 65 yards and a score.
Last week Roddy had 9 catches for 140 yards and it was the first time he topped 100 yards receiving since week 9 of 2010. So far this season the Falcons have scored 6 offensive touchdowns in 3 games, and 5 of those scores came in their week 2 game at home against Philadelphia. They have only 1 offensive touchdown in their other 2 road games combined.
Roddy White Has a Chip on His Shoulder
White was the 27th player selected in the 2005 draft out of UAB. Before he was drafted: Minnesota thought Troy Williamson was a better player. Detroit thought Mike Williams was a better player. Jacksonville thought Matt Jones was a better player. Baltimore thought Mark Clayton was a better player. White didn't have the height of a Mike Williams or the speed of a Troy Williamson and he didn't play at a big name school. He was considered a work in progress.
He was the sixth WR taken in the draft that year, and only Braylon Edwards has really come close to matching his production. It's not just that he was the sixth wide receiver taken, but he was taken after a player who had taken a year off and a wide receiver that was actually a quarterback. As it stands he has 1,687 more career yards than Williamson, Williams, and Jones combined.
What you'll see in White on the field is a player that only needs to get half-a-step on his defender to make a catch. Give him any more than that and there's a good chance he's getting six.
Roddy White Has a New Friend
Roddy was the most targeted wide receiver in the NFL last season with 179 and 2nd in the NFL with 31.2% of the total team targets. When the Falcons drafted Julio Jones early in this years draft to pair with Roddy, it seemed that his role would be reduced. Even Roddy himself said so!
Well through three games Roddy is 2nd in the NFL in targets (34) and grabbing 28.3% of Matt Ryan's attention. Jones has 21 targets and 17.5%. Last season Michael Jenkins had 12.7% of the targets, so there's significant bumpage in how the Falcons use Jones for obvious reasons (if its not obvious, because Michael Jenkins was a big disappointment) but it hasn't affected Roddy that much. The Falcons have also thrown the ball a lot this year, with Matt Ryan currently 4th in the NFL in attempts.
Still, there are changes in Roddy's overall success this year. His percentage of deep balls (15+ yards) last season was 25.1% and this season that's all the way down to 8.8%. Also his catch rate is down from 64.2% to 58.8%.
Now, 2011 is so far much shorter than 2010. This will of course skew the numbers. It's just an explanation of why Roddy has been considered a disappointment to some after he was grabbing some MVP talk in the middle of last year.
Roddy White Hates Alex Smith
I'm not sure what Roddy White has against Alex Smith or at least I'm not sure why he's for San Francisco. It seems as though Roddy wants the Niners to win the NFC West every year, so as a Seahawks fan there is one reason to dislike him. On the other hand, the guy hates Alex Smith.
If you look at Roddy's career numbers, you'd think he wouldn't want anything to change in the Bay Area. Afterall, in 3 games against San Fran he's averaging 123 yards per game; more than he's averaged against any other team.
I wonder if Roddy will tweet the same about the 1-2 Atlanta Falcons and Matt Ryan if things don't improve.
"Why is the falcons wasting their time with matt ryan that guy has a qbrating of 81.5 and luck would be good for us"
Sure enough, Matt Ryan has been off to a slow start this year with all of his numbers visibly worse than last year, except he's throwing for a lot more yards. Unfortunately those yards haven't resulted in very many touchdowns, with some of that blame falling on Roddy.
So if you are one of the local fans that hates all "Suck for Luck"-affiliated conversation, you can hate Roddy White for at least being a proponent of the movement. If you are for "Suck for Luck" then you just found out that you and an NFL wide receiver have something in common. If you already had something in common with an NFL receiver, and that something is tens of millions of dollars, please note that I take donations.
Roddy White Leads the NFL in Drops This Season
He has 4. This used to be somewhat of a problem for Roddy when he entered the league. Then it wasn't a problem when he caught 115 passes last season. Is it a problem again or just a fluke? What makes Roddy White special is his ability to make big plays without having quite the physical advantages of a Calvin Johnson, so if he gets the dropsies again it could remove him from that "elite" class of wide receivers.
Roddy White is a TV Station
Apparently Roddy White believes his entire life deserves a television network and he's trying to start one right here on the internet. On one hand, Oprah is a television network and I would probably prefer 24 hours of Roddy over 24 hours of Oprah. On the other hand, Oprah has over a billion dollars and is an unstoppable estrogen astroid headed for Earth. Not even Michael Bay could stop her.
The Texas Longhorns are a television network, or so I hear, but everything is bigger in Texas. At least I hear things are bigger, but I have never been to Texas. I did once live in a town in Colorado that had a population of 3,000 people for a couple of months though, and I am pretty sure that once you live in a size of that town you're pretty much getting a sense of the South. Sure enough, I saw many things that were bigger.
I don't think I would watch a 24-hour Roddy White Show. If it was a 30-minute or 1-hour show that showed the real life of an NFL player, then it would be interesting television. But pretty much every reality show looks as believable as Terra Nova.
Roddy White Does Not Obey the Laws of Gravity
This does not really seem fair to me. How come players can get in trouble for using performance-enhancing drugs, but Roddy White doesn't get punished for being a warlock? By floating in the air, Roddy is able to make catches that most NFL wide receivers would not be able to make. While the rest of us have to do our jobs with our feet planted firmly on the ground, Roddy White just thinks he's able to practice the black arts. Let's put integrity back into the game.
Roddy White is Not a Lawyer
Or at least, he either doesn't seem to understand the legal system or care about it. On the day that his former QB Michael Vick was sentenced to 23 months in prison for dogfighting, Roddy White did this:
I'm not here to make a political statement. But this was on the day that Vick was sentenced for something that he admitted to doing. What were you expecting to happen? If OJ Simpson had just come right out in the beginning and said "Yeah, I killed them and I plead guilty" would Leslie Nielsen have made a public statement saying "Come on. Free OJ. He's probably sorry. Maybe."
No. He would have said "Come get some free OJ. We're celebrating that justice was done."
And those are 8 Things About Roddy White. I'm going to tweet this to him and you can tweet things to me @casetines at least so we have a solid writer-reader relationship. So far this is the most successful and longest lasting relationship of my life.