Falcons’ White looks to eliminate penalties
Roddy White is not happy with his behavior or his
The Falcons’ three-time Pro Bowl receiver has three personal
fouls, more than any other offensive skills position player in the
league, according to STATS LLC.
”I’ve just got to stay away from penalties and stop getting
myself so emotional into the game,” White said Wednesday. ”I’ve
got to stay away from the little things that I’m doing wrong and
get back to doing everything right.”
That would include catching everything thrown his way.
But White currently leads the NFL with nine drops, according to
White was called for a personal foul and an offensive pass
interference penalty in last week’s loss to New Orleans. He also
had two drops, including one that was intercepted, and is well
below his 2010 pace for catches, yards and touchdowns.
The Falcons’ fading playoff hopes are on the line as they
prepare for Sunday’s important home game against Tennessee. White
says he is determined to eliminate the penalties and improve his
Most receivers would gladly take White’s 47 catches for 563
yards and three touchdowns. He raised expectations with his
career-high totals of 115 catches for 1,389 yards last season,
including 10 catches for touchdowns. He was named to his third
straight Pro Bowl team.
He is on pace to reach 80 catches and 1,000 yards, but the drops
and penalties have helped make this a disappointing season.
Before last week, White’s low point of the season was his two
drops in the fourth quarter of a 16-13 loss at Tampa Bay on Sept.
On back-to-back plays in last week’s 26-23 overtime loss to the
Saints, White was called for offensive pass interference and then
had a pass off his hands intercepted by Saints linebacker Scott
His personal foul came earlier in the game.
Miami safety Yeremiah Bell leads the league with five personal
fouls. Oakland defensive tackle Richard Seymour has four. Of the
list of eight with three personal fouls, St. Louis offensive tackle
Jason Smith is the only other offensive player.
Falcons coach Mike Smith has called for White and the Falcons to
stop hurting the team with penalties.
”We cannot have silly penalties,” Smith said. ”It doesn’t
matter who’s committing it and we had a couple of silly penalties
in the ballgame. Really, three of them that were penalties that you
just can’t have. You can’t flip the field position on 15-yard
There is a perception that White’s status as the Falcons’ top
receiver has been diminished by the addition of rookie Julio Jones,
who has shown potential to develop into an elite receiver. Jones
has three games with more than 100 yards receiving. White has only
White remains the team’s leading receiver. He also leads the
team, and ranks fifth in the league, with 85 targets, according to
STATS LLC. Tight end Tony Gonzalez is second on the team with 68
Fifth in targets doesn’t impress White.
”Last year was a whole lot different,” he said. ”I probably
led the league in targets.”
He did. White’s 179 targets led the league in 2010. Only Reggie
Wayne and Larry Fitzgerald were close.
White emphasized he can’t complain about how many chances he has
to make catches if he is not taking advantage of his
”You’ve just got to go out there and play ball and catch the
balls that are thrown to you and you can’t drop any of them,” he
Asked if frustration about his drops has played a role in his
penalties, White said ”Uh, a little bit.”
White said he has pressed by ”trying to be overly aggressive
instead of just playing my game, going out there and being calm and
getting into the flow of the game and getting into a rhythm and
just playing football.
”A little frustration here and there. I’ve just got to be
myself. I’ve got to go out there and compete and do things to help
our team win instead of putting us in bad situations.”
White signed a six-year, $48 million contract in 2009 that
included $18.6 million in guarantees.
He is part of an offense that also had quarterback Matt Ryan,
running back Michael Turner, fullback Ovie Mughelli and Gonzalez
earn Pro Bowl honors in 2010.
The Falcons (5-4) are a disappointing 16th in the league in
scoring this season.
”Everybody around here is frustrated about where we are in the
standings,” White said. ”We felt like we let some games get away
we could have won around here. That’s probably the most
disappointing thing, us not being able to finish down the stretch
and get things done in the fourth quarter.
”If you’re sitting 8-2 you’re probably not frustrated about
anything but when you’re 5-4 it’s kind of difficult.”
NOTES: Jones (hamstring) and S William Moore (quadriceps) did
not practice. OT Sam Baker (back) returned to have limited
availability. Baker has missed three straight games.