Roddy White Talks Too Much

Roddy White better back it up Sunday.
Roddy White better back it up Sunday. /
Roddy White better back it up Sunday.
Roddy White better back it up Sunday. /

Roddy White is having himself a nice little season. He shredded the Bengals a couple of weeks ago for 200 yards. He’s made the Pro Bowl the last two seasons  and he’s had at least 80 receptions and 1,100 yards in each of the last three seasons. In fact right now he leads the NFL in receiving, which apparently means that we all get to hear his wisdom on a seemingly daily basis.

This week the Bucs and Falcons will square off in Atlanta for first place in the NFC South. The trash talk his been flying around, but no one has been as vocal as Roddy White. White fired the opening salvo, talking sarcastically about Raheem Morris‘ recent proclamation the Bucs are the best in the NFC.

"“I guess that we are playing the best team in the NFC this week,” White said. “Obviously we have to try and go out there and get a win against the best team in the NFC.”"

And that’s fine, Mike Peterson and several other Falcons also mentioned Morris’ comments. You’d expect any team to pick them up and use them as motivation to go prove the Buccaneers wrong. You can be sure Joey Porter and the Arizona Cardinals were aware of the comments last weekend. Every NFC team the Bucs play while they have a competitive record will undoubtedly refer to the brash comments from the team’s head coach. But Roddy White has a lot more to say on the topics of the Bucs than just a little mockery…

"“Their coach is digging them a big hole, saying that stuff, man,” White told FanHouse. “Best team in the NFC? C’mon. They lost to New Orleans — bad. And they still have to play us. It looks like they got a pretty good quarterback down there, but he ain’t no Matt Ryan. The defense is creating turnovers and all that. That’s cool. But we feel as though we’re going to be ready and prepared.”"

There’s responding to another team’s bulletin board material and then there’s making some of your own. White clearly went with the latter tact in these comments. Josh Freeman is not a guy who seems to need external motivators, but this one should do nicely. No Matt Ryan? Let’s see. I’d go out on a limb and say that Matt Ryan would not have taken the Bucs squad that Freeman inherited, 8-8 in his first 16 starts.

Beyond that, Matt Ryan had a nice little rookie campaign, yes. Going 11-5 and making the playoffs. But let’s be honest. He had the number two rushing attack in all of football in 2008 when he broke on to the scene. That’s considerably more than Freeman was given. I’m not conceding that point to Roddy. On Sunday, I’ll concede that Matt Ryan may have progressed a bit more (after all he’s three years older with more NFL experience at this point). But long-term, give me the younger, more athletic Freeman. Heck, come the fourth quarter, give me Freeman.

White wasn’t done with just taking Raheem Morris and Josh Freeman to task, no. He wanted to pick a fight with the guy who will probably be covering him on Sunday, Aqib Talib.

"“On the other side of the ball, you have a guy (Barber) who’s made (five) Pro Bowls,” White told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Talib hasn’t made any. I’d rather go against Talib than the guy who watches film and is real crafty and knows that if the inside receiver goes to the flat, then he’s going to jump the inside route.”"

Now I will credit Roddy White for one thing. That’s very high praise for Ronde Barber, and for all I know that may be how White intended the comment, as a compliment for Barber. But it certainly came off like he was picking at Aqib Talib. I have to be honest, that’s not a good idea. I mean, insensitive jokes about way-laying cabbies aside, Aqib Talib IS actually a very good corner.

This could ultimately work out in Talib’s favor, I’ve said many times I think he’s one of the most unheralded corners in football. There’s going to be some attention on him after this game though, provided he manages to shut down White.

This must not have been an inside route...
This must not have been an inside route... /

Before White opened his mouth, he may have wanted to take a second to notice that the guy he just accused of being incapable of jumping inside routes has as many interception as he has touchdown receptions. That’s not a great ratio. Talib should actually have nine or ten picks already this season, he just hasn’t hung on to all his opportunities.

I also don’t know where this confidence comes from. In his four appearances against the Bucs and Talib, Roddy White has hardly been a back-breaker. He averages five receptions for 61 yards and has two touchdowns in four games. He’s never had more than 70 yards against the Bucs since Talib came aboard, and his two touchdowns occured in the two appearances last season against a 3-13 Bucs team. Oh yeah, and by the way Talib has two interceptions (same number as Roddy’s TD’s) in his four games against White and the Falcons. Not bad for a guy who doesn’t know to jump inside routes.

If the Roddy White was averaging over 100 yards and a score against Tampa, go ahead and make those comments. But don’t call out a future Hall-of-Famer and third year, former first round corner with 5 picks in seven games. Roddy White is really going to need to back up what he’s saying or he’s going to be eating some crow. Whatever Roddy’s reasoning for opening his mouth is though, it’s certainly going to make it even sweeter if the Bucs can roll into Atlanta on Sunday and pop these cocky Falcons in the mouth.