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Julio Question: Why Is He Not Much Of A Redzone Threat?


g-dawg
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Maybe somebody is going to "sui-stat" me and tell me I am all wrong, but it seems like Julio's TDs are primarily big play, vertical long TDs. I don't recall any year since we drafted Julio where he had a large number of redzone touchdowns.

My question is "WHY?" - maybe it is understandable when Gonzo was here as he was always the #1 option.

Julio is 6'3" and can jump out of the gym as we have seen so many times in games and on that MNF warm-up .GIF as well with Cris Collingsworth describing Julio's HOPS.

Is Matt Ryan just not looking Julio's way?

Is Julio just not getting open?

Is the other team just taking Julio away in the redzone?

something just seems odd about it to me. Buelller? anyone? anyone?

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G dawg, ive noticed the same thing. I think it's a couple factors. One thing that I've also noticed is that Matt's td numbers in general have always been just shy of elite. A little lacking. I think first Turner was the red zone work horse. Then TG got a bunch of the action, then we didn't really have a go to guy down there so I don't understand why we wouldn't use Julio more. I don't know, but it's definitely a great question. There's no reason why Julio shouldn't average double digit tds imo.

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The main quality Julio lacks as a WR is body control and high pointing the ball. He has an amazing vertical, but he doesn't have that "knack" that Fitz, Green, Calvin have, which mostly involves precise timing, and body contortion.

This has been in several of my Julio postings over the years...but that is the only quality stopping him (aside from injury) from being absolutely devastating.

He's still not a guy you can throw it to in traffic and expect him to come down with it. I wouldn't have minded an additional WR coach, just to see a fresh take on guys like this who are great, but could be even better with one or two tweaks.

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G dawg, ive noticed the same thing. I think it's a couple factors. One thing that I've also noticed is that Matt's td numbers in general have always been just shy of elite. A little lacking. I think first Turner was the red zone work horse. Then TG got a bunch of the action, then we didn't really have a go to guy down there so I don't understand why we wouldn't use Julio more. I don't know, but it's definitely a great question. There's no reason why Julio shouldn't average double digit tds imo.

I agree. No reason why a weapon like Julio should not have 11-12+ TDs/yr (if healthy) - with half of those being redzone TDs. I do think you hit upon a little of the issue though - Matt is not a great redzone QB and the Falcons offense over the last 3 years has been poor as well. Many passing TDs in redzone are where the QB creates and buys time out of the pocket - which Matt has not done a lot of in the Koetter offense. Also, the offensive line has been very poor in pass protection in redzone where blitzing happens more frequently.

Nevertheless, Julio should be much more of a redzone weapon than he has been - hopefully this year will be a new trend.

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Teams focus on stopping him in the redzone which opens it up for Roddy and probably Hardy this year.

i really don't believe that. Matt had tunnel vision to Tony Gonzalez from 2009-2013 yet the ball was always going to Tony. So, logically you would be telling me that even in 2011-2013 teams were treating Julio like the #1 redzone threat then as well? because clearly Tony was the #1 target - i understand the difference between a TE and a WR - but I just don't believe that it is teams taking away Julio - why aren't the same teams taking away Dez Bryant in the redzone for the Cowboys?

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Initially, Michael Turner was the red zone focus.

Then Tony Gonzalez was.

Last year, when it could/should have been time to focus on Julio in the red zone, he was playing hurt much of the year, and saw limited action in many games.

I just think there is much more to it than defenses were focusing on Julio in the redzone - if that was the only reason, then he would have had better redzone numbers when Tony was here - he has never had good redzone touches/catches/TDs.

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Despite being very large, Julio is still a "speed" receiver. He's more like Desean Jackson or Emmanuel Sanders than like Alshon Jeffery or Mike Evans or Calvin (who all rely on size more than speed).

It's about the type of player he is, not the type of offense.

If they'll tell him to slow down in the red zone, it can make a world of difference.

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First, Koetter didn't use fades in the redzone aside from the backshoulder pass to Roddy. Second, we had a fetish of using the high-low concept with Hester/Douglas running the high route. Third and one of the most important things is that we COULD NOT RUN in the redzone, allowing safeties to bracket our wrs. Fourth, when you count that we didnt use Toilolo as a redzone weapon isolating him on one side of the field to take advantadge of his height, you know that Koetter wasnt the smartest guy when calling plays in the redzone.

Somebody can try to correct me here but i think we run more srceens to Julio in the redzone than fades this last 2 or 3 years, thats dumb and stupid.

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Initially, Michael Turner was the red zone focus.

Then Tony Gonzalez was.

Last year, when it could/should have been time to focus on Julio in the red zone, he was playing hurt much of the year, and saw limited action in many games.

That's part of the major problem in my opinion. You can't be in love with just 1 target. That's absurd in my opinion. I really believe the failure of the red zone lies on the coaching staff's ability to call plays/put the team together. This isn't a hate Smitty post, but we haven't been a balanced team in a long time.

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Long answer: The field gets drastically smaller and you essentially have 9-11 "In the Box" with potentially 3-4 guys able to cover middle of the field to either side-line and a max of 30 yards deep if the ball is exactly on the 20. It's very easy to have 2 or 3 defenders in JJ's grill in this situation, which is often the case, and I seriously doubt even Matt likes the odds of threading the needle between 3 close proximity defenders.

Short answer: Keotter's redzone playbook sucked huge donkey bawls and didn't put Julio in positions to be a better redzone target.

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The main quality Julio lacks as a WR is body control and high pointing the ball. He has an amazing vertical, but he doesn't have that "knack" that Fitz, Green, Calvin have, which mostly involves precise timing, and body contortion.

This has been in several of my Julio postings over the years...but that is the only quality stopping him (aside from injury) from being absolutely devastating.

He's still not a guy you can throw it to in traffic and expect him to come down with it. I wouldn't have minded an additional WR coach, just to see a fresh take on guys like this who are great, but could be even better with one or two tweaks.

Exactly. Julio is a physical specimen but has ****** body control.
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JJ is fine at making contested catches and going up to get balls, we just refused to give him the chance to. How many times did we ever allow him to just run a fade and throw it up to him? I literally can not remember a single time. Roddy occasionally but not JJ. That's on the OC.

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Teams can't take away Dez like they can Julio because they have to respect the Dallas run game, so they can't bracket with a safety. No teams have respected our run game the past 2 seasons whatsoever

We didn't look Julio's way much at all either.. Don't know why that is. Riley Cooper had more redzone targets than julio last year

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First, Koetter didn't use fades in the redzone aside from the backshoulder pass to Roddy. Second, we had a fetish of using the high-low concept with Hester/Douglas running the high route. Third and one of the most important things is that we COULD NOT RUN in the redzone, allowing safeties to bracket our wrs. Fourth, when you count that we didnt use Toilolo as a redzone weapon isolating him on one side of the field to take advantadge of his height, you know that Koetter wasnt the smartest guy when calling plays in the redzone.

Somebody can try to correct me here but i think we run more srceens to Julio in the redzone than fades this last 2 or 3 years, thats dumb and stupid.

This.

It was Koetter. I don't think it's on Julio at all. I think we'll see him explode this season. He's a perfect WCO ZBS WR.

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Could be that Matt is still shell shocked by all the tip drill INTs caused by Jenkins on fades in the end zone. It's the QB version of PTSD. [ yes, that was meant to be a joke]

Think it may be a function of poor run game in the red zone- no need to crowd the LOS in the red zone, allows you to cover the receiving targets.

Get a run game going that works in the red zone, Ryan will kill it with play action.

Agree with earlier posters that red zone play calling by both MM & CK left something to be desired, mainly TDs.

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Could be that Matt is still shell shocked by all the tip drill INTs caused by Jenkins on fades in the end zone. It's the QB version of PTSD. [ yes, that was meant to be a joke]

Think it may be a function of poor run game in the red zone- no need to crowd the LOS in the red zone, allows you to cover the receiving targets.

Get a run game going that works in the red zone, Ryan will kill it with play action.

Agree with earlier posters that red zone play calling by both MM & CK left something to be desired, mainly TDs.

It's not rocket science with the end zone fade though. Just throw it to the guy that can get up the highest. With Julio size and height combined with jumping ability he should win a whole lot more then not

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