Earlier this week, former Falcons great Roddy White was a guest on the “We Never Played the Game” podcast hosted by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Jeff Schultz and Atlanta WSB-TV’s Zach Klein. Those who’ve followed Roddy White’s career know that he was as reliable at providing a great quote as he was for catching clutch 3rd down passes from Matt Ryan. And on this particular podcast, Roddy did not disappoint:
[Roddy White] watched on a casino big screen as his former team blew a 28-3 lead and lost to New England in overtime, 34-28, in part because Falcons’ offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan did not play it smart or safe with the lead and a chance to run out the clock.
“I’m glad I wasn’t a part of that team because I probably literally would’ve fought him,” White said.
Roddy is mad IRL
It’s not exactly breaking news that Roddy White and Kyle Shanahan didn’t have a good player-coach relationship in their year together in Atlanta. During the 2015 season, Roddy openly expressed frustration about the tempo of the offense. And after Roddy was released by the Falcons following the 2015 season, Roddy sounded off on Shanahan:
"What [Shanahan] expected from me and what I expected from him was totally different," White said. "I expected to play a bigger role in the offense, and that's what I wanted to do. But he didn't have that in his desires. He had other people that he wanted to play my role, so he wanted me to be out of the [offense].”
Oh, and Roddy didn’t stop there. Read the following passage while imagining someone yelling “Fight! Fight! Fight!” in the background.
“[T]he things [Shanahan] was doing in making six variations to one route," White said. "It was just episodes throughout the game where I think he mismanaged things and screwed up and we didn't have the opportunity to win the game, which, I thought, was on him as the offensive coordinator. It wasn't sound football, but it was things that he was used to doing and things we weren't used to doing as an offense, and it literally cost us like two games."...
"I talked to [Shanahan] just about every day about everything," White said. "But it's like, 'If I'm talking to you and it's not getting no better, what do you expect from me?' He kept trying to tell you all what he's trying to do with the offense, but for the last 11 weeks of the season, we didn't do anything. We didn't turn no curves. The first four weeks were good. We went out there and scored a bunch of points and started off strong. But other than that, we didn't do nothing the rest of the year.”
During the recent podcast, Roddy bemoaned his 2015 experience with Shanahan even further (for a full 10 minutes beginning at around the 25-minute mark):
“I’m asking Kyle, ‘What do you think I can do?’ [Roddy] said, ‘Well, you can run slants, you can run under, you can run slow-go’s.’ I was like, ‘Why are you not calling those plays for me?’ He just didn’t want me in the offense.”
With this much bad blood in their history, it’s not surprising in the least that Roddy spends time thinking about knocking out Kyle Shanahan. (If we’re being honest, there are thousands of Atlanta-area individuals who have recently had similar thoughts.) While The Falcoholic’s official position is that we do not condone violence to settle longstanding player-coach disputes, gambling losses, or Super Bowl catastrophes, it would behoove us to read the writing on the wall here.
C’mon Refs, Let Em Fight
To that end, the NFL would be best served by letting this feud play out on primetime during the offseason. So get ready for the “Papa John’s Nationwide Insurance Super ShanaWhite Showdown, Powered by Duracell.” NFL Network could easily squeeze the Roddy-Kyle battle royale into its off-season primetime schedule somewhere between reruns of NFL Total Access and “Top 10 Flea Flickers in NFL Preseason History.”
Now that it’s 100% settled that this fight will happen and will open the new Atlanta Mercedes Benz stadium so buy your PSLs now because this is one fight you don’t want to miss, here is a handy guide for sizing up the two combatants before they meet face-to-face in the ring:
Roddy vs. Kyle
|Comparison||Roddy White||Kyle Shanahan|
|Comparison||Roddy White||Kyle Shanahan|
|Wrestling Name||Rowdy Roddy White||Killer Kyle (that's short for "Super Bowl Drive Killer Kyle")|
|Career Statistics||808 career NFL receptions for 10,863 yards and 63 TDs. 36th All-Time in NFL receiving yards.||14 NCAA receptions for 127 yards and 0 touchdowns.|
|Wrestling Experience||2-time South Carolina state wrestling champion in high school||Regularly wrestles with subconscious fear that he will never reach the NFL coaching pinnacle that his father did|
|Reach||No, he was worth a 1st round draft pick||Something that he neglects to keep his Super Bowl playbook within|
|Signature Move||Catching the football right beyond the sticks to move the chains||Relocating to a new city every 2-3 years|
|Fighting Style||Trash-talking||Soft-spoken yet overconfidently aggressive|
|Most Famous Quote||"if mercer beat duke I will give you season tickets 50 yard line first row"||"I blew it"|
|Best Highlight Reel Moments||Beating Richard Sherman deep for a playoff TD; running down Nate Clements to strip the football and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat||Intercepting Matt Ryan in training camp that one time, which was all anyone could talk about for the next 3 days|
|Potential Tag Team Partners||Julio Jones, Eric Weems||Chris Simms with the Matching Tattoo, the Fighting LaFleur Brothers|
|Limitations||None whatsoever, until Kyle Shanahan showed up in Atlanta||Getting production out of Roddy White; situational play-calling in the biggest moment of his life|
|Personality||Lots||His friends say he has one once you get to know him|
|40-yard dash||4.45 coming out of UAB||Stopwatch holder|
|Mentor||Terry Robiskie||Scott Norwood|
|Insight from Matt Ryan||"Look: Roddy's a great competitor. He's going to go out there and do his best. I know what Roddy is capable of. I've seen it in practice and the locker room. I know what he can do."||"Look: I'm very confident in Kyle. I know that he's going to go out there and do his best because I've been around Kyle. I feel really good about what Kyle can do."|
Can You Smell What Roddy is Cooking? It’s Popcorn, So Get Ready.
So there you have it. Now we get to look forward to the dream fight that Falcons fans have been clamoring for. WOOOOO!!! Those sitting in the front rows of Mercedes-Benz would be wise to watch out for flying chairs and flying Shanahans.
Admittedly, I am not a boxing/wrestling/MMA expert, so feel free to weigh in with your own analysis and predictions for the Roddy-Kyle clash in the comments below.