Published: June 21st, 2011 | Tags: Roddy White, A few minutes with, Andre Johnson, Atlanta Falcons, Calvin Johnson, Chris Cooley, Darrelle Revis, Hines Ward, Larry Fitzgerald, Nnamdi Asomugha, Tom Brady
Our latest offseason visitor to NFL Network was Roddy White, who took a few minutes to discuss the NFL’s best receivers, Tom Brady, and what the Falcons need to do to improve.
Tell me about offseason workouts. Valuable or overrated?
RW: Valuable in a certain sense for the team, because some players need to be coached and brought up to speed during the offseason. It gives them a better opportunity to perform at a high level during the season. That’s probably the most valuable part of it. Right now, though, a lot of it is overrated. There’s just too many.
Did you vote in NFL Network’s ‘The Top 100: Players of 2011?”
RW: No, actually I didn’t vote. They asked for votes at the Pro Bowl, which really wasn’t the greatest atmosphere for voting.
Well, now your vote will be public. Who is the NFL’s best player right now?
RW: I have to go with Tom Brady. Not only for his body of work, but what he did last season. He lost Randy Moss and didn’t take a step back. They won 14 games. Even though they didn’t get it done in the playoffs, he has three Super Bowl rings. He’s able to keep a team together and carry those guys. He’s the one guy who keeps the locker room together and does a wonderful job, year in and year out, winning games under high expectations.
You were third among receivers, at No. 24 overall, in the voting. Is this splitting hairs, or is one of you really the best?
RW: It’s so hard when judging who is better than someone else. So many things come into the equation. … I just like certain parts of people’s game. Larry Fitzgerald is one of the best at going after the ball. His balance and hand-eye coordination is the best in the league. Andre Johnson’s all-around game is the best at the position. He doesn’t lack anything and has every attribute. Calvin Johnson is a big guy but can do things smaller guys like me can do. He doesn’t have to be open to throw to, he can out-jump people. What I do the best is my ability to play anywhere, outside or inside. I can go deep, go get the ball. I can do about everything, that’s my niche, so that’s why I would rank myself up there with those guys.
How can you get better?
RW: A lot of film study and just working out what defenses are trying to do to you. That’s really the key component to being a great receiver in this league. Your athletic ability is going to take over at some point. But working out coverages , how to beat them and get in and out of routes quicker is key.
While we wait for free agency to happen, a lot of players have openly campaigned for certain players to join their teams. How about Nnamdi Asomugha in Atlanta?
RW: That would be great! I would like to have him on my team. He’s a guy you put on the field and you can dictate the rest of the defense. He can go one-on-one with one guy for four quarters and shut them down, and the other 10 can go play. He’s a great attribute for any team. I would love to have that guy. You can’t go out and get another player like him to do what he does.
Except for Darrelle Revis … right?
RW: They’re both tough. I rank Revis ahead of (Asomugha) because he can catch the ball better. As far as coverage skills, they’re both strong at the point of attack, get you off your route and disrupt timing. Revis is just better at turning around and getting the ball.
The Falcons went 13-3 and got home-field advantage but didn’t get it done in the playoffs. What is going to make the difference ?
RW: We have to learn how to deal with situations, play better situational football and (better) understand the game. I felt that in that playoff game, we just had a bad three minutes to end the half. No one looks into the game like that. At worst, if we kick the field goal and don’t turn over the ball, we go into the half down 17-14 or 21-17. We turned it over twice and gave up points. It was a tough way to end the half ,and then they came right out and scored. That was the difference for us, situational football. We have to learn to adapt and play to that situation. The playoffs are so much different than the regular season. You have to be on point and do everything right, because there’s no margin for error.
Before we forget, Hines Ward represented receivers well on “Dancing with the Stars.” Are you the next receiver on the show?
RW: Hmmm, I don’t know. That’s a little bit different, it’s not really my thing. I think I could do it, though. Without a doubt. I think I have enough rhythm. That’s some pressure, though, because every wideout on the show has finished first or second. That’s a lot of pressure to get it done. I would like to say I’m a good dancer, but Hines is different. I think I could get with Hines.
We’re also still waiting for the wrestling match between you and Chris Cooley. Are we ever going to see this?
RW: Cooley ran from me at the Pro Bowl. I would like everyone to know that, he didn’t want to see me out there. But we were both discussing the whole thing by the pool. I would like to wrestle him, though.