After the Falcons started the 2015 season 4-0, receiver Roddy White complained about his role in the offense. Now that he has been cut, White has opted for even more candor, specifically in the direction of offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.
“What [Shanahan] expected from me and what I expected from him was totally different,” White said Saturday at the UAB alumni football game, via Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com. “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]. That was the whole thing. And it is what it is. I can’t do nothing about it. I can’t change his way of thinking or anything like that. I can just do what I did, which was just handle my business and get myself prepared for this moment.”
Some think the Shanahan offense was too complex. White disagrees, sort of.
“No it wasn’t,” White said, “besides the things [Shanahan] was doing in making six variations to one route. 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.”
Did White share his concerns with Shanahan?
“Man, I talked to him 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.”
It’s somewhat surprising White didn’t say more publicly than he did during the season, given the extent of his frustration. Still, some think that White’s public comments (and private frustrations) after the team started off so strong helped create a negative environment, which in turn contributed to the offense’s struggles.
With age already working against him, White’s words could make a new team leery about signing him. After all, what happens if he’s not happy with his role in his next team?