Reports of Julio Jones practicing with the team were apparently a bit premature, but the encouraging news is that our current rookie and future star is on his way back.
That's the latest from the tireless D. Orlando Ledbetter, who writes that Jones participated in a handful of routes and drills during player-organized practices on Tuesday. Recovering from a foot injury, Jones needs to be brought along slowly, and he acknowledged that in the interview.
"They just told me to take it very slow," Jones said. "That’s what I’m going to do. I’m not coming out here to run full speed today. I’m going to jog a couple of routes and catch a couple of balls."
More important for our purposes is the part of the story that mentions Jones learning the playbook from Matt Ryan and John Parker Wilson, critically important given that Jones and JPW are already familiar with one another and he needs to get on the same page as Ryan ASAP. The physical talent is already evident, but what Jones needs to have an immediate impact is a deep understanding of the team's offense.
So far, he's shown he's ready. Let's hope he recovers swiftly and is ready to put his cleatmarks all over opposing cornerbacks in 2011.