White's holdout wearing Mora's patience thin
'Unless he's Randy Moss revisited, he's not starting," coach says
By STEVE WYCHE
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 07/27/05
Flowery Branch Ã¢â‚¬â€ Unsigned Falcons first-round draft pick Roddy White better be making a lot of headway on his own because unless he arrives at training camp resembling an All-Pro, coach Jim Mora said he's blown any chance he's had of breaking into the starting lineup.
"It's already jeopardized," Mora said about White, a wide receiver from Alabama-Birmingham and the only unsigned Falcons' draft pick. "He's missed three practices. He's going to miss today, so he's missed four practices. He's 300 reps behind already. You never get those back.
"Unless he comes in here and he's Randy Moss revisited or Terrell Owens revisited, he's not starting for us this year. Not initially."
WSB-TV showed footage of White running receiving drills in Birmingham during its newscast Tuesday evening. Neil Schwartz, who represents White, has declined comment.
There was no movement in negotiations between the Falcons and White as of Wednesday morning and there is no indication when a deal could be reached. The five first-rounders selected directly behind White have reached contract agreements, seemingly setting the scale for terms.
White, selected 27th overall, impressed coaches in mini camp and organized team workouts this offseason, prompting them to re-tool their initial projections of bringing him along slowly. Mora said he still has big hopes for White, but the clock on his immediate impact is ticking.
White needs to be in training camp before the team leaves Tuesday for a preseason game in Tokyo against the Indianapolis Colts, Mora said.
"In terms of a guy making an impact in practice or catching your eye in practice, it's not going to happen in Tokyo," Mora said. "It needs to happen between now and Monday afternoon which is our last practice before we leave. Then it's kind of [showing] flashes in games. It's critical," White gets to camp.