Most NFL athletes are creatures of habit, preferring familiarity and routine to help maintain a focus and work ethic that allows them to ideally perfect their craft. Falcons WR Julio Jones is a perfect example, beginning each and every practice with what appears to be a simple game of catch, until he starts changing things up, using just one hand to make the grabs more challenging, helping him prepare for the real work ahead on Sunday. Everything in the star wide receiver's routine is working as Jones ranks second in the league with 40 receptions for 552 yards.
His 40 catches this season haven't been just routine grabs either, best highlighted by the one-handed grab Jones made against the New York Giants in Week 5. The reception made highlight reels as Jones went Spider-Man-like for the grab, flashing his left arm up in the blink of an eye, ultimately using his fingertips to help snatch the ball out of the air.
While the play was special for several reasons, including its degree of difficulty, it prevented a likely interception and it moved the sticks, Jones made the 9-yard reception look ridiculously easy, thanks in part to a specific offseason training regimen he has for his eyes and hands, which are more than 30 percent larger than the average male (9'3/4'').
With the sixth pick of the 2011 NFL Draft, the Atlanta Falcons selected WR Julio Jones who quickly became a top target for QB Matt Ryan and a leader on the Falcons offense.
"Guys bounce tennis balls to me and throw them off walls for me to catch" Jones said. "You can't really see which way a tennis ball is spinning, when someone throws it at you; so, you always have to catch it with your hands, because if you let a tennis ball hit your palm, it's going to bounce out."
Jones also improves his hands by doing towel pull-ups, requiring extraordinary strength, considering his 6-foot-3, 220-pound frame.
The time and effort Jones puts into his pass-catching ability will continue to benefit the Falcons on the field and can also be officially described as record-breaking off of it; last year, Jones set a new world record for the longest water balloon toss and catch (130 feet).