Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones doesn't need to prove himself. He was undoubtedly worth all the draft picks the Falcons invested to get him. He's one of the most dynamic, talented players in the NFL. But from a leadership standpoint, his role will change in 2016.
Julio hasn't needed to lead from the front during his tenure in Atlanta. The kid does an excellent job of leading by example, dragging himself back onto the field, notwithstanding whatever combination of injuries he's fighting through at the time. But with the departure of longtime Falcon Roddy White, that's going to change for Julio. The Mothership's Andrew Hirsh wrote an excellent piece today about that transition and its affect on the Falcons' star WR. (Go read it now, if you haven't already.)
"(White) passed along some great traits to me, so now I can teach other guys," Jones said Tuesday. "It'd be so easy to keep all that wisdom to myself and not share it, feel like someone is stepping on your toes or whatever. But we're out here to win."
I have no doubt that Julio can lead by example and lead from the front. He's well-equipped to step into that role and it's good to hear him say that he has something more to offer from a leadership standpoint.