Atlanta Falcons All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones spent the offseason finding new ways to stay in shape. The 31-year-old continues to play at a high level and one of the main reasons he's been able to do so is his work ethic off the field.
Jones spent a lot of time hiking this offseason whether it was the trails in Los Angeles or in Atlanta at Stone Mountain. He says it helps him from both a mental and physical standpoint.
"What I do is, we go five, six, seven-mile hike and don't stop," Jones said. "When the times get tough, everyone gets fatigued, everyone gets tired. What do you do when you get tired? My mindset is to keep pushing. For me, I'm used to running hills. I used to hike Stone Mountain in Georgia, When I go to Los Angeles, there's just a lot more hills and trails you can hike and get away. Really long trails that you can see your physical and mental conditioning. It's fun, I love nature so going out and being a part of that, grinding and keep working."
One of Jones' main hiking partners is his new teammate, Todd Gurley. The two spent a lot of time bonding this offseason and their relationship helped the Falcons lure Gurley to Atlanta. According to Gurley, Jones dominates the trails and takes it very seriously.
"He kills it when he goes on a hike," Gurley said. "When he gets to walking, he just takes off. I'm about four to give minutes behind. You see why he's the great player that he is. He has that edge; he has that mentality. He has that dog in him and he's able to do it day in and day out."
Jones caught 99 passes for 1,394 yards and six touchdowns in the 2019 season.
Todd Gurley impressing on and off the field
Jones and Gurley have become fast friends and they believe their connection with one another will help the rest of the offense this year. The Falcons finished No. 3 in passing offense in 2019 and No. 30 in the run game. The hope is that Atlanta will be a more balanced unit in the upcoming season.
"He looks amazing," Jones said. "In the scrimmage, he looks amazing. He's going to do his thing in the run game, I'm going to do my thing in the pass game. For him to do his thing, I have to go out there and block. For us to do our thing in the pass game, he has to take care of protections."
The Falcons' 2020 roster is constantly evolving and we've amassed all the players in one gallery that will be updated throughout the year.