Although Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn stopped short of saying veteran receiver Roddy White will remain with the team next season and beyond, Quinn did admit White has value in helping assistant head coach Raheem Morris transition from defense to offense.
The 39-year-old Morris, who was the team's defensive pass game coordinator last season, is now the wide receivers coach despite his extensive defensive background. White, 34, just completed his 11th NFL season with the Falcons and has two years remaining on his contract.
"I think there's no doubt about the competitor and leader and the teammate that Roddy is where sometimes a guy who has been around a long time knows the tricks because you don't oftentimes make it this far and have the success like a guy like he did without understanding how to do it best," Quinn said on Monday. "So, yeah, in that way, [the connection] makes sense.
"Can you learn from players? I think you definitely can. I can also think back to my own time. I went to the Miami Dolphins and Jason Taylor was one of the pass-rushers there. Came in my first year, man, [and] I learned a lot from him: discussing, the teaching, the time on the field together. ... I think the learning, it never stops, man. And I think that's why Roddy's so fired up to roll, too. And he's so jacked to make his mark on the position as well."
Quinn's words sounded like an endorsement for White being with the team for the 2016 season, although there's been questions about White's future with his cap number exceeding $6 million next season, his role in the offense diminishing, and his unwillingness to take a paycut.
Quinn was pressed on White's status with the team.
"Well, he's under contract now, and he's one of the guys that I feel strongly on in terms of the competitor and the leader and the teammate [he is]," Quinn said. "I haven't confirmed anything on that. He remains under contract, and I love all the stuff that he stands for as a player."
Quinn said the evaluation process is ongoing with White and the entire roster. Still, White has support, including from team owner Arthur Blank.
White, the franchise's all-time leading receiver, said he wants to be a Falcon for life and finish his career playing in Mercedes-Benz Stadium, set to open in 2017.