Fact: Julio Jones doesn't have dreads anymore - and that means he's faster
Julio Jones had an impressive rookie campaign. That said, he hasn't garnered as much league-wide respect as he eventually will. I think opposing corner backs are starting to get the message. But the image their getting - at least at this point - isn't in high definition. And that hat will change in 2012.
Dirk Koetter has made two promises since he was hired. First, he's sworn to dramatically revise our infamously lackluster vertical attack. Second, he's guaranteed a dramatic increase in screen passes. To keep his word, he needs Julio Jones. He also needs Peter Konz. Without Julio Jones and Peter Konz, his tenure in Atlanta will be short-lived. To be fair, the skill sets are there. It all comes down to execution.
The X Factor here is the offensive line. They must improve. While their adjusted sack rate was pretty awesome in 2011, Matt Ryan took more hits than an undergraduate hipster spring breaking in Jamaica. If they can't improve, Dirk Koetter won't accomplish much.
People do interesting things when they're under pressure. Given that he's new to Atlanta, one would assume there isn't much pressure on Dirk Koetter. But there is. His tenure at Arizona State was less-than-impressive, and the Pac 12 wasn't all that and piece of cheddar at the time. Jacksonville gave him no weapons whatsoever. As a result, his offenses devolved yearly.
To be clear, I believe he's a bright football mind. If Peter Konz and Julio Jones play their behinds off, I think he can do some things in Atlanta.
Of course, as always, I'm curious what you think. Discuss!