Former Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White is undoubtedly one of the best players to ever set foot in Flowery Branch. His talent and leadership carried the team through a lot of hard, trying times. But like many aging football players before him, Roddy's time came and went.
The front office made the difficult decision to let Roddy walk this offseason. Roddy usually has an opinion, expressed in 140 characters or less, but to his credit, he took the separation in stride and didn't have much to say about it. We knew he'd eventually express his opinion, and now, with a strong desire to keep playing, Roddy's wants to set the record straight. (Credit to Kevin Patra for the quote; go read his article now, if you haven't already.)
"A lot of times we had opportunities to win games, and I wasn't put in that position to make that play, and I felt like we lost those games because I wasn't in put in that position to make that play. And I felt like if I was, then we would have been in the playoffs."
I don't think it's hyperbole to call Roddy's comments a scathing critique. (For what it's worth, I'm not just referring to the block quote.) He basically faults the team for misleading him about his role and then ignoring him in their search for a solution when things went awry. By "the team" we all know I'm referring to offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. Shanahan clearly had a vision, endorsed by head coach Dan Quinn, perhaps to a fault.
Look, I understand that Roddy is past his prime. His value isn't what it once was. But I flatly refuse to believe that he was properly used last season. I don't know if the Falcons were a playoff team under any circumstances. That said, Roddy certainly could've played a more prominent role, particularly in the slot. (Look at what the Arizona Cardinals did with Larry Fitzgerald as an example.) We'll know for sure if a team picks him up and he has a mini-resurgence of some sort.
Ultimately this situation is disconcerting because it suggests disarray and confusion. There was, at a minimum, a lack of buy in from a key veteran. That's problematic and probably due to a lack of communication by the coaching staff. I don't care how capable Shanahan thinks he is or can be, something got lost in translation. We can only hope that resolves before this season begins.