If seeing is believing, the Atlanta Falcons have to be very happen in what Julio Jones is showing them so far in practice the past two weeks. The star wide receiver is being brought back slowly by the coaching staff following two surgeries, but if everything is considered equal, this is a team that needs Jones and Roddy White to be completely healed from injuries that plagued them most of the 2013 season.
ESPN.com's Vaughn McClure reported that Jones looked explosive on Sunday in his most extensive practice session. McClure wrote that Jones didn't have problems cutting, was "stopping on a dime" and displayed no apparent effects of the surgery. The wideout even blew past stud corner Desmond Trufant on one play.
"He's looking good, man," Trufant said of Jones on Sunday. "To come back like he did ... he didn't do any of the (organized team activities). He was just doing rehab. He didn't miss a beat. That's exactly what we want to see. And he's going to definitely have a comeback season this year."
The loss of Jones and White were a major reason the Falcons suffered a colossal collapse last season, leading to a 4-12 record.
According to McClure, Jones was "spectacular and in sync with Matt Ryan" during Sunday's session. Not having to dust the cobwebs off their chemistry is a big positive early in training camp, especially considering the Falcons will continue to hold Jones out of some practices.
ROBERTSON LEAVES IMPRESSION (From AtlantaFalcons.com)
Travian Robertson has been one of the shining spots of training camp so far.
After Tuesday's Atlanta Falcons Training Camp session, Travian Robertson was just a little out of breath talking about the amount of up-downs he's had to do since defensive line coach Bryan Cox came aboard. Under Cox, mistakes earn 10 up-downs, and Robertson couldn't even keep track of the number that he's been assigned.
That's not a bad thing, he says. It's all part of the learning process under Cox, and Robertson looks to be making the most of it through the first week of camp. Robertson has responded well to Cox's teaching, one of the main points being personal responsibility for your own progression.
Listed at 6-foot-4, 304 pounds, Robertson is finding himself in a crowded situation along the defensive line. Robertson is mainly working behind Soliai at nose tackle, but it's something that he's growing more and more comfortable with every day, and he's learning it's the perfect spot for someone of his strength.
When the pads came on at the start of this week, that comfortability showed immensely as Robertson didn't lose many one-on-one battles with the offensive linemen. He was able to get into the backfield on many occasions and help collapse the pocket.
As a former seventh-rounder who's looking to make an impact on a defensive line full of weight and talent, his strength is proving to be a separating factor as the all-important preseason nears, where he will have the chance to do the same thing in game situations.
JERRY RETIRES (FROM NFL.COM)
The Atlanta Falcons drafted Peria Jerry with the No. 24 overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. Five years later, Jerry has decided to retire. The team announced the decision on Thursday, which comes as a surprise because Jerry was coming off his best season. He started 14 games last year and recorded 3.5 sacks, both career highs.
Jerry will go down as one of the worst picks of the Thomas Dimitroff era in Atlanta, although he never really had a chance because of injuries. Jerry suffered a serious knee injury his rookie year and never quite recovered.