FLOWERY BRANCH — Julio Jones didn’t have a normal offseason as a rookie. He didn’t have time to build chemistry with Matt Ryan or learn everything he needed to know before entering his first pro season. Despite all this, he still managed to accumulate 959 yards receiving and catch eight touchdown passes.
It’s scary to think he’s just getting started.
With his first normal offseason, Jones already sees progress being made from the few practices the Falcons have had so far.
“The biggest thing that I see now is that me and Matt, we’ve got a better chemistry, and we’re on time more,” said Jones. “Last year was kind of like they just threw me in the fire.”
Jones continued by saying, “I didn’t have that time, that chemistry with Matt. Last year I was just out there running full speed. And now me and Matt can sit down and talk, hey you cruise on this route, or do this on this route.”
As well as No. 11 performed in 2011, he clearly doesn’t think as highly of his rookie campaign as others. When asked about last season, Jones said, “It was OK. I could have done better.” The 23-year-old is modest in his quest to outdo last year’s numbers.
Unfortunately for other teams in the NFL, Jones thinks he’s in even better shape at this point. “As of right now, I feel like I’m stronger and faster,” he said.
Opposing defenses knew he was a threat as a rookie, but surely they will hone in on him even more this time around. That doesn’t seem to deter Jones at all. “I’m just gonna go out there and play football. I don’t care who I’m up against,” he said.
Dirk Koetter will give the Falcons a new offensive perspective, but it remains to be seen how different 2012 will be. “We kind of do some of the stuff we did last year, but we got some other things put into our scheme,” Jones said. He continued to remind everyone, though, that “it’s still early.”
He ended his interview by saying, “Whatever he (Koetter) calls, we’re gonna make it work.” Now that he has a complete offseason, there’s no doubt Jones can live up to whatever task the Falcons ask of him.