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Report: Brian Finneran's influence on the team is still present today

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Fact: Roddy White trims his nose hair with a weed whacker

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Falcons alumnus Brian Finneran is best described as scrappy and old school. He wasn't the most dynamic wide receiver during his time in the NFL, but he got the job done. What he lacked in straight line speed, he made for with smart route running, length, and sheer determination.

If you just recently found your way to Falcons fanhood, you probably don't fully appreciate Finneran. He joined the Falcons in 2000 after a brief stint in the now defunct NFL Europe. He was with the team until 2010, amassing 3,000 receiving yards, most effectively as a slot receiver. At 6'5, 250 pounds, his frame doesn't scream slot receiver, but as possession receivers go, Finneran held his own.

Finneran was an established member of the Falcons receiving corps when Roddy White was drafted out of UAB in 2005. As we all know, Roddy's evolution as a professional was gradual. In his younger years, Roddy struggled in the maturity department. From a pure talent standpoint, Finneran couldn't touch Roddy with a ten-foot pole. But Finneran took his role as a leader seriously, calling Roddy out on his immaturity. The Mothership's Andrew Hirsh penned an excellent read detailing Finneran's mentorship of Roddy.
Although Finneran immediately noticed White's undeniable talent, he also knew the young athlete's mindset needed correcting. One day, to help push his teammate in the right direction, Finneran — then nearing retirement — bet White he wouldn't last a decade in the league ... "It was me trying to give him that drive," said Finneran, "because deep down I knew he could do it. To be here from Day 1 with Roddy and to see the way he was — which wasn't great — and to see the leader and player he's become has been pretty special. I'm really proud of what he's done."

If you follow Finneran on Twitter, then you know what a close eye he keeps on the Falcons. He takes pride in their successes and he takes issue with their failures.

Would Roddy be Roddy if it weren't for Finneran? Probably. But when you look at Finneran's obvious influence on Roddy, you can't help but be grateful. In turn, Roddy has mentored Julio Jones, who will likely mentor Justin Hardy and other future Falcons WRs. It's a Falcons circle of life, if you will. Beautiful. Just beautiful.