Earlier this week, Dirk Koetter made a crack about covering Julio Jones with 10 of his 11 defensive players. Koetter was not serious—at least I hope he wasn’t, or Mohamed Sanu is going to have the game of his life—but it made me wonder whether such a strategy could actually stop Julio Jones.
First, you have to consider that Julio could likely outrun at least six or seven of the players in question, depending on how Mike Smith decided to parcel out coverage responsibilities. Secondly, you have to also remember that Julio is a tall, alien receiver of an uncertain home planet, and could almost certainly outleap nearly anyone the Bucs would consider putting on him. Then you have to consider that Matt Ryan might throw him the damn ball regardless of how many players are covering him, because Matt Ryan loves himself some Julio Jones.
Taking all those variables together, I’m going to make a wild guess and say that Julio would find a way to come down with the ball once or twice for every targets you pitched his way. That’s not an inspiring success rate, but against pretty much any other receiver on the planet, the success rate would probably be zero. Julio’s so absurd I’m actually willing to weigh this.
Of course, if the Bucs did do this, the Falcons would have more open receivers than they knew what to do with, and would likely have little trouble scoring. But with their jobs in jeopardy, we can only hope Koetter and Smith are crazy enough to try.