Atlanta Falcons superstar wide receiver Julio Jones was playing at a monstrous pace last season, as he caught an astounding 41 passes for 580 yards in his first five games, a year after notching ten touchdowns in his second season. The 2014 campaign will technically be his “massive breakout third year”, because his real third season in this league looked like that “massive breakout” but was cut short due to a season-ending foot injury.
Jones has made some nice progress throughout the offseason, and he stated that he is “almost” the “old Julio” again, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s D. Orlando Ledbetter. The former Alabama star also stated that the doctor told him he’s 100% and needs to get his confidence back up, but Jones doesn’t think he’s quite at the “full speed” he wants to be, even if he reassured us that he can hold up for a full game.
He said,“I can get up to speed good. I can’t hold it as long as I want to hold it like over a course of game. Right now, I probably could give you 65 plays or so, I mean that’s a whole game, but the way that I play in the running game and everything, I want to be at full speed for the whole game. I don’t feel like I’m there yet.”
One thing with Jones is that he always pushes himself to the limits, as we saw last season when he still put up big numbers on that season-ending injury before it was discovered that he would have to stop playing. Jones may start the season with lower productivity than expected as he works his way back, but he should be able to hit his stride after a few games. I wonder if Jones is just saying that he isn’t “there” because he holds himself to such a high standard, but I don’t have any worries about his status at this point in time; he’ll be 100% with the biggest risk being aggravation.