BIRDLAND – Falcons wide receiver Roddy White was ranked 24th on “The Top 100: Players of 2011” Sunday on the NFL Network.
White was presented by Falcons head coach Mike Smith.
Also, White appeared live in-studio on the show and will be on NFL Total Access at 7 p.m. tonight. White will be joined by Jacksonville running back Maurice Jones-Drew on each show.
White, who led the league with 115 catches last season, was the last of five Falcons on the list.
The other Falcons making the list were defensive end John Abraham (69), quarterback Matt Ryan (52), tight end Tony Gonzalez (46) and running back Michael Turner (42).
Here’s what White and Smith had to say on the show.
On his reaction to his ranking:
White: “I mean, obviously I want to be the best wideout in the game and I’m never satisfied with my ranking unless it’s number one. So that’s where I want to be, that’s my goal every year. As I compete in this game, [my goal] is to be number one at my position. Wherever that poll is on the number one receiver, that’s where I want to be.”
On people who think he’s ranked too high:
White: “They’re not watching Atlanta Falcons football games. Because if they were watching the games and they’ve seen me, then they would know that I go out there and I contribute a lot to my team. . . Just being more consistent, that’s my biggest thing; just going out there every week and just being consistent. I just feel like I’m doing a good job of that right now. I just want to continue my success.”
On Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, who was ranked No. 52:
White: “He should be higher. Every day we go out there and practice hard together. A lot of the things that we do, we do a lot of timing routes and we have to have everything on time, and he does a good job with that. He’s an anticipating throw-type quarterback and he throws off anticipation so you have to be in the right spots. That’s a key component so you can’t be getting jammed at the line of scrimmage; you have to get away from defenders because he expects you to be at a certain place at a certain time. We’ve just been really
good going through games and making adjustments. I think that’s our biggest attribute is me and him, we stay in the games and we’re always looking at the pictures and seeing what kind of defenses and things they’re giving us, and how they’re trying to guard me and plays that we can run to get me the football.”
On Julio Jones:
White: “He’s next level. I watched a lot of highlights of him and during our little 7-on-7 OTAs by ourselves, and I just like to see the young fella run. He can tear up grass and things like that. We’re out there and I’m just helping him build himself to be a better player and getting ready for the season. The biggest thing for him is he’s very talented, very big guy. I’m standing next to the guy and he’s bigger than me and he can run like the wind.”
On his career thus far:
White: “We’re just talking about production. If you want to talk about what I’ve done in this league over the last three years, I think Andre Johnson is the only guy who ranks ahead of me in yards and receptions. The other guys, I feel like you can date back to four years and I’m right in the top five of every statistical category. If people want to talk about stats, I could just throw mine in there if that’s what they want to do. Or if they want to talk about winning games, over the last three years I’ve been in the playoffs twice. We haven’t won games, but I’ve gotten my team to the playoffs and things like that. We’re consistent; every year we’re winning.”
Smith on Roddy White:
Smith: “Roddy White: one of the strongest, most physical wide receivers that I’ve ever seen. Roddy’s got the ability to take a short completion and turn it into a long completion.”
“One of the things that people don’t probably see when they watch Roddy White is he is one of the best blocking wide receivers in the NFL. Roddy White was a state championship wrestler in high school. He has a very good understanding of leverage. When you watch the coaches tape, you’ll see Roddy White had knockdowns. The Michael Turners are saying thank you.”
“His maturation process really started when we drafted Matt [Ryan].”
“Sometimes Roddy can be almost ultra-competitive in terms of keeping his head in the ballgame. He does not like to lose.”
“That’s what fans want to see: a guy that comes out and every play is going to be the best that he can be. Those are the types of guys that coaches want to coach, and when you have guys like that you’re going to be successful.”
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog