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Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Coach excuses WR Roddy White

By Vaughn McClure
ESPN.com

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons receiver Roddy White will not participate in the team's mandatory minicamp this week, coach Mike Smith said following Tuesday's first day of the three-day camp.

"We're going to hold Roddy out through the rest of our minicamp, and he'll be ready to go with us in training camp," Smith said. "We just felt like he needed to get some rest. He worked with us four days. We wanted to see where he was at. He worked extremely hard, so we're going to give him some time and let some of these young guys work."

White was excused from the bulk of organized team activities after his younger brother, Tyrone Moore Jr., was shot to death back at home in South Carolina.

White addressed the shooting following Tuesday's practice.

"It's always hard for me to deal with," White said. "Every day, I think about him. Just being the older brother, when you grow up in a single-parent home, you're trying to raise your little brother and he's always around you. It's difficult because it's always a piece of you always missing, always gone. That's been really frustrating for me; when you go through hard times, go through difficult times and things like that. But it's important to just remember him and just try to do things that he would do. He was a very happy guy, always smiling and things like that. Charismatic. I just keep those things with me. I've got tons of pictures in my house that I keep around, so he's always going to be with me on and off the football field through the rest of my life."

White praised his coaches and teammates, particularly fellow receivers Julio Jones and Harry Douglas, for supporting him through such a difficult time.

"It was a real emotional time for me," White said. "And for them to help me get through that was tremendous. And I really appreciate everything they've done for me to this point. ... We always think about football and things like that. Family always come first in that circumstance. Just for those guys to just be around and just help me through this time right now, man, is very, very special. There's going to always be a place in my heart that I keep those guys because they've done such a good job to this point."

With White out for minicamp, the Falcons will be without their top two receivers until training camp. Jones is being held out after undergoing right foot surgery last year. Jones stood on the sideline and watched practice and caught a few passes from Douglas before practice began.

"I feel great," Jones said. "I'm back doing the little things that I used to do. I'm back to the old Julio. I feel like I'm actually stronger now because I've been doing back squats; getting my quads stronger. Muscles in my hamstrings. That might have been a problem as well ... to balance my strength in my quads, my hamstrings, my glutes, everything to make sure everything is equal so I don't put that amount of force and pressure on the outside of my foot."

Jones seems to be walking normally and looked fine running routes during OTAs.

As for White, he did wear a compression sock on his left leg Tuesday, but he wore the same sock when he participated at the end of OTAs. Last year, he was slowed by ankle and hamstring injuries.

White is expected to sign a contract extension before the start of the regular season. He is signed through 2014 and has a cap number of $6.35 million this season.