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Roddy : "sky's The Limit" For Julio - Espn


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http://espn.go.com/blog/atlanta-falcons/post/_/id/14862/roddy-white-i-just-want-to-be-healthy-for-16-games

Vaughn McClure, ESPN Staff Writer

How much do you feel you have left in the tank going into the 2015 season?

Roddy White: Im ready to go. I feel like Im in good shape. I feel ready to roll. I have no body issues or nothing like that. Im 4 pounds lighter than I usually weigh, which is good. I usually come in at 212, somewhere like that. Now Im way under 210. Im coming in about 208. I feel lighter. I feel like thats going to help me get through the season. And also, Ive been changing my diet and eating healthy foods and stuff like that. I just want to be healthy for 16 games. I missed two games last year, and I still caught 80 passes, right over 900 yards. I feel like if I can play 16 games, then I can really be productive.

Q: Whats Julio Jones' greatest strength? Do you have a story/anecdote that helps show that in action?

White: To me, hes good at so many things. Hes able to run. Hes big. Hes strong. He can run routes -- underneath routes, intermediate routes. He can go out there on the outside. He doesnt have really any weaknesses in his game. And every year, hes gotten better. Its amazing for me to see how football-savvy he has gotten over every year. Hes just gotten better and better mentally, in just understanding what people are trying to do to him and what he has to do to go out there and win on routes. I mean, the skys the limit for him. I just want to see him go out there and play 16 regular-season games and see what type of numbers he puts up. When we went down to Green Bay, we called a play, and we actually put a pump on the play, and it wasnt even supposed to be a pump. It was supposed to be a slant-and-go. So were running the play, and he catches a (79-yard) ball and gets tackled at the 3-yard line. He and Matt kind of made it up on the fly. Thats just knowing the personnel, knowing the person youre going against. And they did that all in one episode and didnt take a miscommunication or a missed throw or a second time around to get it, you know what Im saying? Just executing that and going out there and them hitting that play just speaks volumes of them just growing as a tandem and Julio having a better understanding of the game.

You figure out peoples intelligence on the football field on what they do when theyre not on the football field, if that makes any sense. The classroom teaches us so much because everybody's watching the film. Just for Julio to always have the right answers and to always know what to do sometimes, thats just saying that youre doing something different on this route because the defender was leaning this way. Julio is far from his first and second year, when they just wanted him to do one thing, and thats run deep routes and be explosive. Hes into the route tree. He knows the route tree. He can run every route. Thats how you expand your game. Thats how you catch 100 balls a year.

Last year, you said the offense had the potential to score 30 points per game. Will Kyle Shanahans bringing a new philosophy to town take away from the offensive explosiveness, particularly in the passing game?

White: You can score 30 points in this scheme -- if you can run the ball. I tell everybody that our most productive games since Ive been an Atlanta Falcon are when weve been able to run the ball. Running the ball makes those plays over the top so much easier. Its so much easier to play call when its second-and-5 than second-and-10. We need to run the ball. We need to be able to run the ball. Ive never had a problem with us running the ball because it shortens the game and it alleviates pressure on the quarterback. Anytime you can have a run game, the game is going to be much easier.

Its always important to be a high-scoring team, no matter what you do. In the NFL, people score points. Last year, we didnt score as many points as we wanted because teams just kept the ball away from us, and they just dictated the clock. Every time I looked at the time of possession, we would be losing the time of possession, which means we didnt have enough possessions and plays to win games. If you can't execute and youre going three-and-out once or twice in the game and youre only getting six or seven possessions, that literally means you have to score touchdowns when you get those possessions. You cant kick field goals if you want an opportunity to win. Just looking at how other teams were playing us and how they were controlling the game, thats what we want to do this year.

Edited by ICD
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