(UPI) — When you look at all-time great players for the Atlanta Falcons, Roddy White’s name is near the top of the list.
The former wide receiver is the franchise’s all-time leading pass-catcher with 10,863 yards and 63 touchdowns. Although he couldn’t play in the Falcons’ Super Bowl 51 loss to the New England Patriots, he had plenty to say about how the game went down.
White specifically aimed at former Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan for his play calling, which helped the Falcons surrender a 25-point lead to Tom Brady’s crew.
“I’m glad I wasn’t a part of that team because I probably literally would’ve fought him,” White told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Jeff Schultz on the We Never Played the Game podcast.
“You destroyed a dream for a city,” White said. “It’s bigger than me. The city of Atlanta needed that championship and you had it. Arthur Blank needed that championship and he deserved to win that game, with everything he’s been through. It was finally our time to win and it just hurt me that we didn’t get it done.”
Shanahan took over as the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers this offseason. He recently denied a report that he said he “blew” the game in the fourth quarter during a press conference.
“I don’t know if I used those exact words, but that sounds about how I talk,” Shanahan said during the press conference. “…I did believe we had a very good chance to win that game, especially at the end and we didn’t get it done. When you use the words ‘I blew it,’ I don’t look at it that way, I believe we missed an opportunity and we didn’t get it done. I’ll go back through every play for the rest of my life.”
“We played that game how we played the entire year,” Shanahan said during the press conference. “I called plays in that game the way I have the entire year. Doesn’t mean I’m always right. Doesn’t mean they’re always going to work. But I promise you I prepare as hard as I possibly can. I always do what I believe is right, with our coaching staff and with the players, and then you live with the consequences.
The Falcons had the No. 1 offense in the NFU last season.
“Yeah, it’s going to be hard living with that loss. Every play that didn’t work, I regret, as always,” Shanahan said. “But I can deal with it because I can look at myself in the mirror and know I did what I thought was right at the time. And that was the most important thing to me. I didn’t change because of a circumstance. I did what I thought was right. Whatever happens, if you do what you thought was right and you believed in that because of the preparation you had, you should be able to live with the consequences.”
White allegedly bet $40,000 on the game, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He said he would have jumped offside if he would have heard the play calling late in the game.
The Falcons released the 35-year-old in March. The former All-Pro and four-time Pro Bowl selection had 506 yards and one touchdown on 43 receptions during his final season in 2015. Shanahan took over as the Falcons’ offensive coordinator that same season.
During that season, White complained that about his role in the offense.
“They had a role for me coming into the season, and I feel it wasn’t told to me prior to the season,” White told Dukes & Bell on 92.9 The Game in July. “I’m completely fine if someone sits me down and says ‘This is what we want you to do’, but I didn’t get fully where they were going with me.” White continued, “After that I sat down with Kyle and I thought things would change, and they didn’t change.”
White was in contact with several teams before ultimately deciding to hang it up this summer.