FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – Julio Jones is back.
After not being in attendance for majority of Atlanta's voluntary workout program this spring, Jones reported for mandatory minicamp and spoke to the media on Tuesday for the first time since the season ended.
Jones will not practice during minicamp due to the rehab he's doing on his foot. Falcons head coach Dan Quinn does expect him to practice when training camp begins, though.
Here are the key takeaways from Jones' press conference:
1. Julio loves having offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter back in the building
Since this is Jones' first time working with Koetter since his return as offensive coordinator, Jones offered his thoughts on what it's like for him to be working with Koetter again. Each year Koetter was in Atlanta as Jones' offensive coordinator, the Falcons had a top-10 passing attack (eighth in 2012, third in 2013 and third in 2014).
"I love it," Jones said. "He was here when I first started my career here. He knows how to get me the ball and just making the offense explosive."
2. Sticking with the process
Heading into his ninth season, Jones knows exactly what he needs to do to take care of his body to ensure he's ready to go when September roles around.
That process hasn't changed and Jones is committed to continuing with it this offseason.
3. Being a mentor
"I'm just taking it slow," Jones said. "A little maintenance work, obviously. Taking it slow for me. Not really trying to jump into the swing of things right now, I'm a veteran. I've been doing it for a while. I have my place where I work out at to get better and to be where I need to be at when the season comes around."Yes, Jones isn't taking reps at practice but that doesn't mean he's not as engaged as he would be if he was practicing. Jones is embracing his role as a veteran leader at practice, trying to help in any way he can.
"Being a veteran guy, I can go in and talk to them and see how they react by taking coaching from another player and see how they incorporate it and take what I give them today and [apply] on the practice field tomorrow," Jones said.
4. Congratulations, Roddy White
The Falcons announced White would be inducted into the Ring of Honor this year on Tuesday this year and Jones, one of White's closest friends, spoke on how White influenced his career during their five seasons together.
"Roddy helped me out tremendously," Jones said. "[He] gave me the blueprint to be a great receiver. Just the way to work, everything. Roddy is like a brother to me. It's a great accomplishment to be inducted into the Ring of Honor here with the Atlanta Falcons. Hats off to him, he had a great career here."