He won't face the same type of pressure and scrutiny as a a quarterback taken in the top ten of the NFL Draft, but Julio Jones certainly has lofty expectations to live up to. The Atlanta Falcons pulled off a mega-trade in the 2011 NFL Draft to acquire Jones, surrendering their first round pick in 2012 (amongst other things) in order to move up the 21 spots necessary to land the undeniably talented Alabama wide receiver.
Something tells me though that Jones will handle the pressure just fine. He's certainly a big believer in his abilities, and more importantly, he's not afraid of hard work. Speaking of work, Jones worked out with his Falcons teammates on Tuesday after doctors cleared him physically. The Falcons have been running 7-on-7 players-only workouts during the NFL Lockout, but Tuesday marked the first opportunity for Jones to join the fun. He's taking it slowly though despite being cleared to run by doctors last Tuesday. Jones only jogged through some routes rather than pushing it too hard in his first session with Matt Ryan and other members of the offense.
"I went to Dr. (Robert) Anderson in Charlotte (N.C.), and he released me last Tuesday to run," Jones said. "They just told me to take it very slow. That’s what I’m going to do."
Jones may not have put in a strenuous workout from a physical standpoint, but it was a productive session primarily because Ryan and John Parker Wilson sat down with Jones to begin the complex process of learning Atlanta's offensive playbook.
"They looked over the playbook with me and told me what I needed to study as far as formations and what we use a lot," Jones said. "That’s what I’ve been doing. That’s the stuff that I’ve been mainly focusing on."
All very encouraging signs for Falcons fans as they anxiously wait to see if Jones proves to be worth the massive investment the Falcons made in him during April's draft.