NFC South: Greatest Show on Turf

Roddy White: 'We are loaded'

August, 8, 2011
8/08/11
10:41
AM ET
Roddy White made headlines this offseason when he said Atlanta’s offense has a chance to become the second coming of the “Greatest Show on Turf."

For the younger members of our audience, that’s a reference to the St. Louis offense back when the Rams had Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk, Isaac Bruce and a whole bunch of other guys who could score points in a hurry.

White
White is a wide receiver and fits the profile perfectly. He’s a guy who likes to talk big and talk a lot. When I sat down with him in the Falcons’ cafeteria in Flowery Branch, Ga., last week, all I had to do was hit the “record’’ button on my tape recorder and let White run the deep routes.

He didn’t back off the “Greatest Show on Turf" talk at all. In fact, he took it and ran with it.

“This offense can be great,’’ White said. “We’re loaded. We are loaded. We already were pretty good and we added the guys we needed to add.’’

White had huge praise for rookie receiver Julio Jones, who is expected to be the other starter.

“He can get down the field and really help us with explosive plays," White said. “There’s nothing wrong with going out there for two or three plays and getting a touchdown. I think a lot of our drives this year are going to end that way.’’

White also had high praise for quarterback Matt Ryan, tight end Tony Gonzalez and running back Michael Turner.

“Matt’s continued to improve each year,’’ White said. “Tony’s obviously very consistent. Mike is Mike. He can run the ball. We know we’re going to get 1,300 or 1,400 rushing yards and double-digit TDs from him. That’s just what’s expected from him and he’s done that. And I can tell you he’s not going to be facing a lot of eight-man boxes this year.’’

White said that’s because the Atlanta offense will be different this year. Virtually everyone in the organization has hinted at that in one way or another. But White, as you might expect, had a little more to say on that than anyone else. He stopped just short of pulling out the playbook and sharing whatever new wrinkles are in it.

“I can tell you this, you’re going to see a lot more downfield throws,’’ White said. “We’re going to try to stretch the field as much as possible. We’re going to try to get big chunks of yardage. We’re going to get some explosive plays and make this thing a whole lot easier.

“From the first day of training camp, I think Matt’s thrown more deep balls than he ever has. We’re working on it. That’s nothing but a good thing.’’
During their undefeated start, the Saints frequently have been compared to the St. Louis Rams from back in the days when the Rams were known as the "Greatest Show on Turf."

Well, here’s another comparison of the Saints to that team, but it’s not a flattering one.

The suddenly-sloppy Saints have committed a total of 13 turnovers in the past four games. According to ESPN’s Stats & Information, that’s the highest total for any team in four consecutive wins since the Rams had 13 turnovers in four straight victories in November 2003.

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