It’s well-documented that when Falcons then-rookie Julio Jones came into the NFL, then-veteran WR Roddy White opted not to take any offense to the addition.
Instead, White took Jones under his wing, and the two grew close. Not only was White a mentor to Jones, but also a friend.
Now, Jones has the opportunity to pay it forward to rookie WR Calvin Ridley. You could already see the veteran star providing some pointers to the young Bama grad on the sideline Friday night, and there’s no doubt Julio has, at least in some way, helped the team’s first-round pick come along.
Jeff Schultz with The Athletic asked Jones about his role as a mentor to Ridley.
On his mentoring role, Jones said, “I always try to talk to him afterward. I don’t want to coach him on the field. I’ll sit down and watch film with him and ask him what he felt. I don’t want to give him too much information on the field because it kind of messes you up there.”
He also shared how pleased he was with the rookie’s big performance against the Chiefs.
“He did a great job for us,” Jones said. “One of the things we talked about was (controlling his) adrenaline. He just has to get acclimated from the practice to the game. But he made some plays, and now he just has to build on that.”
It’s going to help Ridley tremendously to have a veteran mind like Jones in his corner, providing him tips and pointers and grooming him for more in the offense.
The Falcons looked mighty sharp on offense Friday night, and Ridley is going to play a big part in that. How that all shapes up when Jones gets back into the lineup will be exciting to watch, and it’s heartening to see the franchise star take some time to help his new teammate along.
If Jones can be to Ridley what White was to him, the Falcons are going to once again field an offense with two potential top receivers.