As one of the longest-tenured Falcons, Roddy White has grown used to change. From Greg Knapp to Hue Jackson, Mike Mularkey to Dirk Koetter, the veteran receiver has studied under a wide range of coordinators, each of whom brought a unique system to Atlanta.
Kyle Shanahan's playbook is certainly unique in its own right. And so far, White is happy to adjust once again.
"New learning is always good, no matter how many years you play in the league," he told The Falcoholic. "Once you get new verbiage and things like that, everything starts back from scratch. So it's been good, man.
"You're going in meetings and actually paying attention now. Going through the same system for seven years, you're just kind of like going back and forth. You know, every OTA we just go back over the little things, but now, it's new learning, so you're somewhat tentative and just going out there and just learning."
One change that appears imminent is a greater emphasis on the running game. Last season, only five teams rushed less than Atlanta, which ran the ball just 23.2 times per contest; on the other hand, Matt Ryan fired more pass attempts than every NFL quarterback not named Drew Brees.
The Falcons' offense was relatively effective despite this uneven distribution — they finished eighth and 12th in total yards and points, respectively — but in 2015, they'll likely produce a more balanced approach, one that's less predictable and subsequently more dangerous.
"I just don't think we're going to go out there and throw it 30, 40 times a game like we did in the past," White said. "I'm not saying that we didn't like that, but it's going to be different. We have to get back to our old (style) where we run the football. Play-action passes and convert on third downs.
"So the more you simplify the game, the easier it is to play football. So that's what they want to do, and that's what we're going to have to do — just go out there and play fast and know what you're doing."
There are numerous reasons to believe the Falcons' offense can develop a sense of equilibrium. The running back situation is promising, for one, as second-year pro Devonta Freeman and rookie Tevin Coleman have loads of potential. Moreover, Shanahan's zone blocking scheme is proven method to build a successful ground attack.
Establishing the run does take chances away from receivers, but at the same time, it keeps the defense on its toes. If Atlanta's RB corps can force opponents to respect the rush, it'll make matters easier for White and his fellow WRs.
"I've never concerned myself about that," he said about getting enough touches. "When we had Mike Mularkey (as offensive coordinator), we ran the ball and we found ways to get me the ball. I never worry about passes or things like that. My opportunities are going to come. I just have got to hold onto the ball and make my plays when I have to make them."