Buford – Falcons Pro Bowl wide receiver Roddy White didn’t want to chat after taking part in his first players-only practice on Tuesday.
Perhaps, he was tired after running several 100-yard sprints because the offense lost a challenge to the defense at the end of practice.
“No interviews, baby,” White said. “I came out here to work. The first day of training camp, y’all got me.”
White has attended two other workouts, but wasn’t comfortable with the field turf. Also, last week he held a football camp in his hometown of Charleston, S.C. He’s been working out alone and appeared to be in great shape.
“He’s been having a really good offseason,” Ryan said. “I thought he was really productive today. He was himself. He was out here running around, joking and doing his thing. I think it was good for Julio [Jones] to see how Roddy does his thing and get a couple of tidbits here and there. All in all, it was very productive.”
Ryan couldn’t contain his excitement about having White and Jones, the team’s 2011 first round draft pick, running routes together for the first time.
“I’m excited about having both of those guys playing for us,” Ryan said. “Julio is doing a great job. He’s a complement not only to Roddy, but to Harry Douglas, Mike Jenkins and Tony Gonzalez in the passing game and Michael Turner in the running game. He’s going to fit in well with our group of guys. Everybody is excited about that.”
Some of the other key offensive players, like tight end Tony Gonzalez and running back Michael Turner, have not been to the workouts. But Ryan is not concerned and has been in touch with them.
“Tony is in California,” Ryan said. “Mike T is working out, taking care of himself and getting ready to go. But in the seven-on-seven drills, it’s tough for a running back to get out here and get some good work in. As we move forward, I’ve spoken to him and he’ll be ready to go.”
Ryan and player representative Coy Wire have been leading the twice-a-week workouts since early May.
During the seven-on-seven drills, White and Jones lined up together with Michael Palmer at tight end. Later, White and Jones were flanked on opposite sides with Harry Douglas in the slot.
White, who led the league with 115 catches last season, came up with several tough grabs. He snagged one while being double-covered by cornerback Brent Grimes and safety William Moore.
“He looked good,” Moore said. “He hasn’t lost a stepped. He came out here and was crisp. It was good to see him and Julio do something.”
There were 21 players at practice.
“Both sides of the ball looked good today,” Moore said.
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog