OTAs are here! I'm thrilled. And I'm not afraid to show it, because I'm happy and I know it.
Apparently Smitty is pretty excited too. What's he excited about? First, he's thrilled about the new pomade Dimitroff is using. It gives you lasting hold without the mess. Second, he's very optimistic about Julio Jones.
"It will help him immensely in terms of learning the system,’’ Smith said. "He got thrown into it (last year). Julio looks so much more comfortable and has a better understanding of not only what it takes with our system but being a professional football player. He’s just going to continue to get better and better. I thought he had a great season last year and we anticipate the maturation process to continue.’’
His quote - in and of itself - doesn't exude above-average excitement. But according to Yasinskas, the way Smitty said what he said spoke volumes.
Jones' rookie campaign was fantastic. Given that his injury excluded him from three games and made him a non-factor in another, his production was surprisingly solid. 8 touchdowns, a 17.8 yards/reception average, 959 receiving yards, 1,015 yards from scrimmage, 73.8 yards/game, and an approximate value of 10. I'll take that, especially given the offensive line's struggles.
If (1) Julio is serious about his progression; (2) our offensive line can turn a corner; and (3) Matt Ryan doesn't regress, we will surprise some people this year. Bank on that.