Touches aside, Falcons' Roddy White plans to be a leader moving forward

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Without specifying the number of targets Roddy White might see weekly the rest of the season, Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn once again reiterated White's importance to the team in the grand scheme. And White, without specifying his desired amount of touches, vowed to remain a leader to help the offense overcome a recent slump.

White, no longer the No. 2 option behind Julio Jones in offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's scheme, stands fifth on the team with 17 receptions for 230 yards. White has been targeted 29 times -- 91 times less than Jones, 23 times less than tight end Jacob Tamme and 10 times less than fellow receiver Leonard Hankerson, who has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury.

"It's an important guy for us, and I want to make sure that gets stressed," Quinn said of White. "Is there going to be a game where he has this many targets, that many targets? I won't put a number on them, but I will say for us to be at our best, we've got to use everybody, and Roddy's certainly an important part of that.

"Moving forward, I would think, for sure, he'd be a significant factor for us."

White responded to Quinn's words.

"I always feel like I'm an important part of this team," White said. "Being a leader on this team and being in this organization for this is my 11th year, it's just certain parts of the season that we need guys to lean on. This is one of those times where I've got to go out there and just be a leader for this team and this organization and settle everything down.

"We had a couple of rough weeks leading up into the bye. It's time to turn it around and get focused and get all the details in -- start playing good football. We've got to get back to doing that, offensively, defensively and special teams."

Turnovers and ineffectiveness in the red zone contributed to the Falcons dropping back-to-back games against Tampa Bay and San Francisco before the bye. White told ESPN.com he desired more touches rather than just being a blocker after a Week 4 win over Houston. Then, when he caught three passes for 44 yards on just five targets in those losses to the Bucs and 49ers, his lack of touches again became a major topic of discussion. And it will continue to be hot item if the 6-3 Falcons continue to falter on offense.

The bottom line is, Shanahan will be the one to suggest if White's touches will increase, unless Quinn just puts his foot down and makes it a direct order. But Quinn seems to have faith in what Shanahan does offensively.

We'll see if Quinn and Shanahan decide to put more faith in White come Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.