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Friday, December 9, 2011
Roddy White talks 'NFL Blitz,' Falcons

By Jon Robinson

NFL Blitz
Roddy White and the Falcons look to be one of the top teams in "NFL Blitz."



When Roddy White gets rowdy in "NFL Blitz," all he can do is grin. And why not, his Falcons are one of the most potent 7-on-7 teams in the game.



Think about it, with four skill players on every offense, is there a better group than White, Michael Turner, Tony Gonzalez, and Matt Ryan?



"You can't cover everyone," White says with a laugh. "You leave any one of us open and we'll make you pay."



White grew up playing "NFL Blitz," so he's well versed on beating defenses in the game, even breaking down his favorite plays from back in the day. "You need speed and guys who can jump for the ball," he says. "The wide outs dominate this game with the jump catch, and with the receivers we have, the Falcons should be rated 99."



And since the EA Sports' "Blitz" remake utilizes the exact same playbook from the old arcade classic, only with updated rosters, White is right, the Falcons offense looks virtually unstoppable.



Top things off with the fact that White is one of three players vying to appear on the game's cover (voting to take place live during the Spike TV Video Game Awards), and you can see why "Rowdy" Roddy is so hyped to talk video games.



Jon Robinson: I hear you're a big gamer. What have you been playing lately?



Roddy White: I actually play a lot of "Madden." I don't consider myself one of the best, because I've been to some of the EA Sports parties and I did not play well in any of these tournaments.



Back in the day, though, I used to love going to the arcade to play "Blitz". We couldn't afford to buy the game back then, but I'd play it in the arcade whenever I could. People catching on fire, the 7-on-7, and all the big hits just really made the game exciting. When you're running with the ball and you're spinning and jumping over guys and you knew you couldn't be stopped, that just made the game so fun.




Jon Robinson: Did you think when you were playing "Blitz" in arcades that one day kids were going to be passing the ball to Roddy White in the game and trying to make you catch on fire?



Roddy White: Man, I never thought that. I never thought that I would make it to this point, but now that I'm here, I can't believe all the people who come up and tell me how they're killing people in "Madden" with me. People are tweeting about how they beat their friend in "Madden" and how I went for 220 yards and three touchdowns.



It's fun, man. It's a lot of fun. And it means so much to me that people tell me this. The fact that I even made it to the NFL, it's like a dream and you don't want to wake up. The ability to play at a high level and talk to the kids and tell them how much I appreciate them, that means a lot.

NFL Blitz
"Blitz" gets rowdy.
Jon Robinson: When you look at your NFL career so far, what do you see as the main factor in your rise from someone people were quick to label a bust to a player who is now regarded as one of the elite receivers in the game?



Roddy White: Doing work. It's all about the offseason and doing work. You need to work with your quarterback, put in that effort, and watch other people around the league who have been successful. Watch what they do, try to pickup little things that have helped make them successful, that's what I do. I watch other receivers and steal stuff from them. I steal things I see, like different releases, and I add it to my game.



Jon Robinson: Anyone in particular who you tried to pattern your game after as a kid?



Roddy White: Yeah, all I did was watch Jerry Rice. He was the best I've ever seen play the game, and the way he worked on his craft, worked on his skill, that's what made him better every day. He never got complacent. Jerry Rice was always hungry and he always wanted to prove himself. So I take that effort from him and just try to keep rolling.



Jon Robinson: The final cover vote for "Blitz" is between you, Ray Rice, and Patrick Willis. Why should people go out and vote for you?



Roddy White: I should already be on the cover. I already see myself on there. I'm definitely the best face for the cover. [laughs] Defensive guys should never, ever be on a cover and running backs come a dime a dozen. A wide out like me comes along only every once in a while, so that's why I should be on the cover.



Jon Robinson: The "Blitz" characters are all yoked-out in the game and they high-step around with a lot of attitude. How does that fit your style in real life?



Roddy White: Because I'm yoked-out. Have you seen me? I am yoked out. I have muscles everywhere. That's what I'm saying, they need a yoked-out, handsome receiver right there on the cover. Besides, red and black is perfect for the cover. Red and black is the best color combination you can put on a cover, point blank.



Jon Robinson: Growing up playing "Madden," did you have a favorite team you liked to play as?



Roddy White: The Buffalo Bills. Thurman Thomas, James Lofton, Jim Kelly ... they were loaded. That was my team.



Jon Robinson: As a "Madden" gamer and someone who is actually in the game, what do you think of your ratings in the game? Are you good enough?



Roddy White: No, I don't think so. I think I should be at least a 98. I think I'm a 97 right now, but I should at least be a 98. My catching needs to go up, my speed needs to go up a little bit, and my agility needs to go up too. I don't do enough run after the catch in the game for some reason.

Roddy White
Roddy White's pre-game intro features fire, but it's nothing compared to the flames in "NFL Blitz."
Jon Robinson: So for all the "Madden" gamers out there, what's the best way to get Roddy White the ball in the game?



Roddy White: The fly route. Just throw it up there and watch me go up and get it.



Jon Robinson: Everyone calls you "Rowdy" Roddy. Were you a fan of "Rowdy" Roddy Piper as a kid?



Roddy White: Actually, I was. Back in the day, my little league coach used to write a column in the paper about professional wrestling and the WWE, so he used to take us to the shows when they came to town. It was cool.



Jon Robinson: Now you're the one carrying on the "Rowdy" persona.



Roddy White: And I'm about to get rowdy in "NFL Blitz." I'm telling you, I'm going to be on fire all day.