Julio Jones came into this league with virtually no ego. If pundits, teammates, coaches, front office staff, players from around the league, his family, his friends, this blog, other blogs and small animals don't stop breathlessly praising him at every turn, he may just develop one.
Thomas Dimitroff—general manager extraordinaire, incredibly intelligent dude and the man who I've been told is my radio doppelganger—sat down with ProFootballTalk yesterday about Julio Jones. By the standards of our good Comrade, what followed was a geyser of praise. In non-Dimitroff terms, you and I would call it even-handed praise.
Basically, Dimitroff called Julio the "1A" option in the passing game. Like, now. As in, when he's a green rookie, when receivers are supposed to be riding out the learning curve and making a marginal difference. But it's perfectly plausible, because Dimitroff and Mike Smith went hard after Jones and he's done nothing but shine all pre-season long. You can very easily see why they love him.
"He's very, very focused and very, very competitive," as Dimitroff said.
So in essence, Roddy White and Jones are going to be equal opportunity targets in Matt Ryan's eyes, and in the eyes of Mike Mularkey. Considering how hard White had to fight against double-teams all last season, that's an incredibly thrilling thought. We've seen enough from Jones to know that while he'll undoubtedly have his rookie moments, he's not going to disappear when the spotlight shines brightest. That's huge for the entire offense.
You really should check out the entire interview, but I have to say my expectations for Jones have somewhat improbably been ratcheted even higher after hearing it. Issue your revised stat lines for JJ, stat.