To each is their own, they say.
Julio Jones isn't one of those millennials who constantly needs a phone or an iPad in his hand at all times. Despite technology continuing to advance and coaches and players using it more often, Jones likes his old-school approach that involves a highlighter, pen and paper.
Jones gets paper copies of the game plan each week so that he can write his own notes and easily access the papers at any moment.
"Everybody learns different, that's just my era and the way I came up," Jones said of his method. "Having the physical copies in my hand. iPads die, you have to charge them up, you miss place them here and there. I know where my paper is at. It's easy to go view it. I just want to be able to write my notes on it and look at the paper copies."
Considering Jones remains one of the top players at his position year in and out, his way clearly works for him.
Falcons interim head coach Raheem Morris – who coached Jones when he was the wide receivers coach from 2016-19- said Jones' method is unique to him. He takes his preparation so seriously that he rarely messes up. And if one of his coaches doesn't get something right, he'll let them know, in a respectful way of course.
"He has this little black bag and if you contradict yourself as a coach, he will pull those notes out of that little black bag and show you exactly what you said wrong," Morris said. "And he's very rarely wrong. He knows exactly where he's supposed to be, he knows where he should be on assignments, he knows exactly where he should be on the call. So when he goes out there, he kind of views the game sort of like a quarterback. He knows exactly what plays put him in which position so if you make one slip up as a coach or a play-caller or a position coach and he ends up in the wrong spot, he'll look at you like, 'No … that's wrong. We should be in this personnel grouping or this alignment.' And that's a credit to his detail and the work he puts in his craft."
Molding of two great minds
Jones is one of the NFL's biggest stars and with that comes opportunities to engage with other professional athletes of his caliber. He also spends a lot of time in Los Angeles in the offseason, where several NBA stars train in the offseason.
This offseason Jones spent time with Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant talking about all aspects of life.
"Over the offseason, I had a chance to sit down with Kevin Durant and he's been battling injuries, things like that," Jones said. "He's a hungry guy. Just being able to surround yourself with other people from other sports that have the same vision an outlook on life you have."
Whether it's training with Terrell Owens, hanging out with DeAndre Hopkins and Todd Gurley before he became his teammate, Jones enjoys spending time with other elite athletes in his free time.