Julio Jones has always been a quiet player. He has avoided the big attitude many top wide receivers have, never complaining when he fails to get a certain number of targets. His team first focus has been on display his entire career.
When Julio does have something to say, it is notable. He and other top players have spent weeks alluding to problems in the locker room, with many wondering about effort and dedication from some of the team’s underperforming players. He spoke up after Sunday’s loss to the Los Angeles Rams with the Falcons dropping to 1-6, per Zach Klein of WSB.
This man has done everything for us…it’s on us.. it’s not on Q (head coach Dan Quinn).... Everything matters, every play matters… this is bigger than just one person. Q can’t do more for us.
Klein reports Jones, Ricardo Allen, and Grady Jarrett skipped locker room comments following the speech, as they are tired of defending teammates who are “not all in.”
The report indicates two important things.
First, the team’s top players are growing frustrated with other players who are not producing. It is tough to guess what players that may be as nearly the entire defense is not producing. Vic Beasley is on the trade block, Mohamed Sanu and Duke Riley have been traded, but no player has been benched. Regardless, it is clear some players have not pulled their weight.
Second, coming to the defense of Quinn increases the chance he can stick through the end of the season. This is not to suggest Quinn is blameless. The defensive scheme is clearly not working, and it oddly differs significantly from what he ran in Seattle. When the Rams shifted from punt formation to a clear passing play on fourth down, no one called a timeout. The Rams, of course, converted. There are problems there. Yet, Arthur Blank, who was present during the speech, may not want to anger his top players by getting rid of their coach.
The result of his speech is still uncertain. Whether or not it rallies the problematic players, or gives Quinn a chance to turn around the team, is unclear. However, fans have a better look into the team’s problems.