Atlanta Falcons: Remembering the Roddy White era
By Curtis Hobbs
At the end of the year Atlanta Falcons’ long-time receiver Roddy White will likely become a cap casualty, and he will be packing his bags in Flowery Branch. But, the iconic, franchise receiver will be leaving quite a bit behind as he has etched himself into the Falcons’ record books.
It’s hard to imagine a team before the White era, as he was one of the most recognizable pieces to a franchise before Julio Jones burst onto the scene in 2011. But even Julio “Waffle House” Jones (because he’s always open) could not take away the importance of what White has become to the Falcons’ organization on and off the field. And, whether he was snagging touchdowns with ease or providing timely blocks for the running game, it was a legacy that he was carving out as the franchise’s best receiver.
Time has caught up with Roddy White.Though the effects of “father-time” seem irreversible, White’s performances cannot and will not be forgotten.
When Atlanta was making their presence known under the Mike Smith-era, it was spear-headed by a receiver who was as good as any in the league at the time. In fact, White’s abilities set himself apart from all of the others who went before him. He chiseled out franchise records left and right by accruing the most 1000-yard seasons, most receptions in a playoff game and most receiving yards. And being the best in what is now has been 50 years is something to hang your hat on.
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Again, the age of White has led him to have a tremendously underwhelming season this year, but it was because of him that led to the refining superstar of Jones who appears like the second-coming of the best receiver in franchise history. And, though Jones’ athleticism speaks for itself, if you were to ask him he would quickly point to the fact that the attention that White demanded from 2011 to 2014 which led Julio to being just like Waffle House, always open.
As we come to the end of the season and possible the end of an era of one of the greatest franchise players, let’s remember all the times that White saved the day, and recount all of those incredible bursts that led to prior successes for the Falcons. If it wasn’t for his heroics, surely more losses would have occurred.
From the 62-yard pass from Matt Ryan to White against the Panthers to set up a game winning touchdown to the non push-off game winning touchdown catch to beat the Ravens in 2010. He’s done it all.
It will be a sad day to see him walk out of the locker room for the last time. Though he may have his all of his belongings in his bags, the memories, glories and time with no. 84 will never be forgotten as he has entrenched himself with the icons whose names hang in the rafters at the Georgia Dome. And though the door is about to shut on his time in Atlanta, everything he’s done for this franchise will live on forever.