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Julio Jones Interview: 'I Didn't Grow Up As No Diva'

The more we hear from new Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones, the more I think we like him. Jones stopped by 790 The Zone earlier this week to talk about his new team, its winning culture (the Falcons!), Matt Ryan and Roddy White, staying in the Southeast, sticking by Mark Ingram at Radio City Music Hall and ESPN's obsession with his dropped passes.

The transcript, via our associates at Sports Radio Interviews:

On his initial reaction when he learned about being headed to Atlanta:

"I was very excited. Just going to a team that's already established an identity for themselves, they're a winning organization."

On being excited about playing with guys like Matt Ryan and Roddy White:

"Oh yes sir. Defenses, they can't double. They're going to have to pick who they want to double throughout the course of a game. So you know, both of us are explosive players."

On [sarcastically] being asked about there being no pressure on him to help lead the Falcons to SB glory considering how much they gave up to be able to draft him:

"That's everybody's goal - to go out and win a Super Bowl. I love winning and this is a winning organization, I came from a winning organization, and we're going to try to continue that."

On not being able to be a prototypical WR diva when Nick Saban is the boss:

"No, not at all. But I didn't grow up as no diva either. I used to play running back, so I guess I have that mentality - just hard nosed."

If he's had a chance to talk to Mike Smith or any of the other coaches about what they expect his role to be this coming year:

"Oh we just talked briefly. I just told him how happy I am to be a part of the organization, and he was happy to have me here. So we didn't really talk that much, but we'll talk a little later."

Had he thought about almost being picked my Cleveland, and more seriously, how nice it will be for him to play in the south close to where he grew up in the Gulf coast region:

Ah, yes sir. It's only five hours drive away from my original hometown in Alabama; it's only three hours, two and a half hours from Tuscaloosa, and I have a friends and family there as well. So I'm very happy about that."

What he feels is the one area of his game needs the most work as he joins the NFL:

"Everything, beacuse everything is so much more precise at this next level. Running routes, getting in and out of breaks, catching balls, reading defenses - I think a little bit of everything coming to this next level."

On being selected that high only to have ESPN show highlights of him dropping balls while the analysts discussed the pick:

"Hey, but I must have been doing something right! I was the only guy that they tried to blow up like that, but hey, I dropped it, I dropped it. I just try to get the next one, man. I had to teach myself to play fast but don't hurry. I made a mistake then and I had to correct them. And I did. So I'm happy with myself."

On hanging around Radio City Music Hall until Mark Ingram got selected, and what he can share about his relationship with the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner:

"Oh man, I love the guy. He's like my brother. I told him I was there for him. I looked over there and I saw his head down, and I told him it was like the same thing when he was coming out of high school - he was a little underrated and he comes to college and he wins a Heisman. So I told him the teams who looked over you, just make them pay and continue to work hard."

When he expects to be back to 100 percent physically and working out:

"Next Saturday I'll be full speed running. I've been running in the pool getting rehab, but next Saturday I'll be good to go."

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.