Roddy White addresses deal

Flowery Branch — Falcons Pro Bowl wide receiver Roddy White was one of the first players to bounce out of the locker room Monday morning. He embraced Emmitt Thomas, the assistant head coach/secondary, and returned to work.

White ended his eight-day holdout with the Falcons on Saturday by signing a lucrative six-year contract extension estimated to total about $50 million.

Left cornerback Chris Houston was happy about White’s return. White lines up against Houston in practice and he needs the matchup to help him get ready for the season.

“He’s big, strong and smart,” Houston said Monday. “He’s a good route runner. He’s great adjusting to the ball when it’s in the air. You are getting that everyday in practice from a Pro Bowl receiver that is obviously going to make you better.”

White received some ribbing from teammates throughout the practice.

“It was great to have Roddy back out there,” middle linebacker Curtis Lofton said. “He came in and sat down with me. We talked a little bit in the locker room yesterday.”

White spoke to the media after the morning session. Here are the highlights from his interview:

Q: How was your first day back?

A: "It was good. I want to thank Mr. [Arthur] Blank, Thomas [Dimitroff] and Rich McKay for getting my deal done and coach Smith for all getting together and getting me back out here as soon as possible."

Q: Catch a little flak from the guys?

A: Yeah, they are always going to give me flak. Even if I was here the whole time. That's kind of the attitude they've got toward me. They expect me to go out there and make plays. So I'm ready to make them.

Q: This team had great chemistry last year. Any concern that if you’d stayed out longer that it might have upset things a little bit?

A: No. Me and Matt Ryan have been getting together. Last year we did great things and he wasn't here that much. I'm to the point right now where we are on the same page. We do a lot of talking. As far as chemistry, we're going to be OK.

Q: Any pressure now? You’re making some good cash and there are a lot of expectations. Maybe even more so than what you had before.

A: No pressure, we are going to go out there and ... you know, we've got a lot of weapons on this team. I'm just going to go out there and play. Bring excitement to our team and make plays out there.

Q: Did Harry [Douglas] getting hurt, or them signing two other guys, accelerate the process on your side at all?

A: No, not really. During the whole process, we were at a number. They were at a number. We just came to the middle. That's how it happened throughout all of the negotiations. Harry had nothing to do with it. I was talking to Harry the other day. Thomas said that it had nothing to do with my contract or whatever.

Q: What does it say about your status in the league to get such a big deal done?

A: It just says that the Falcons think I'm a great player. They feel as though I have bright future here. I have to go out there and continue what I've been doing. Stay on track. Stay on course.

Q: How much catching up do you have to do, even though you were here all offseason?

A: It's not that much. When you are missing training camp, it's basically trying to get your legs back underneath of you. ... These guys are already a week into it, wearing shoulder pads and stuff like that. Carrying around that extra weight. I have to get used to doing that again.

Q: How tough was it for you to make the business decision to hold out, knowing that you grew up as a Falcons fan?

A: It was tough. It was real tough. I wanted to be here the whole time. I just wanted to get my deal done and not risk anything about my future. I pretty much wanted to [help] my family, help set them up for the rest of their lives. That was the biggest thing.