Falcons OC Steve Sarkisian has officially weighed in on the ever-growing scandal of WR Julio Jones missing voluntary early summer football practices.
He, uh, oh, he’s like the rest of the rational folks around these parts: not worried at all.
Sark said as much to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Sarkisian is not fretting that All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones is not with the team. He’s looking forward to having Jones for training camp. Jones did not attend any of the OTAs.
“This time last year he was in a boot,” Sarkisian said. “He didn’t really get going until halfway through training camp last year.”
Jones was an unknown going into the season for Sarkisian because he ran just a handful of plays in the exhibition season.
“I didn’t really know Julio quite yet,” Sarkisian said. “He only played three or four plays in the offense. For us as an offense, him being healthy going into training camp is going to be awesome for everybody. Also, having my experience with him for a year of just understanding him more and the type of player that he is, adds to that comfort level that I was talking about.”
So, it looks like Jones will be getting a far-earlier start to summer practice than he did last season, which is a huge relief for him getting acclimated into the scheme. Miss OTAs? Who cares. Miss some of training camp? Eh, it’s not quite as ideal.
Everyone in Falconland is going to be on the same page, and will have more experience with one another this offseason, which will only help the offense get back into that “elite” conversation. They were a solid unit, not a great one, in 2017, and having everybody around, and healthy, and more learned should be a nice break.
The conversation about Jones missing OTAs will hopefully subside by next week’s minicamps, but then again, one can only be so sure. It’s been a nothing burger of epic proportions that simply hasn’t faded from conversation, and it’ll be nice when we don’t have to hear it anymore, to be rather blunt.
The Falcons aren’t worried about it by any means. So, it’s high time the rest of the echo chamber moves on to talk about something else.