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Falcons rookie Deion Jones speeding up his learning curve


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Falcons rookie Deion Jones speeding up his learning curve

Vaughn McClure

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Keep a close eye on Deion Jones on Thursday night.

The Atlanta Falcons' rookie middle linebacker, a second-round draft pick from LSU, might get the start in preseason game No. 2 against the Cleveland Browns. And if he doesn't start, Jones is sure to get plenty of action while alternating series with Paul Worrilow.

What is Jones expecting? A better showing than last week's stellar debut against the Washington Redskins.

"I've still got a lot of room for improvement," Jones said. "I've got a lot of work to do on special teams, and paying attention to all the details on defense."

On the surface, it appeared Jones performed rather well last week. He led the team with five tackles, including one for a loss, and had a pass defensed while playing 31 snaps. That was third-most on the defense behind safety Robenson Therezie (33) and nickel back Brian Poole (31). Jones also played 13 snaps on special teams and was part of the blocking on undrafted rookie McKissic's 101-yard kickoff-return touchdown.

"I've still gotta be perfect," Jones said. "There's always room to get better."

Jones was drafted to bring more speed to the defense. He immediately began competition with Worrilow, the team's leading tackler the last three seasons. The fact that Worrilow spent a lot of time on special teams leading up to Thursday's game might have been an indication of Jones starting against the Browns. Both he and fellow rookie inside linebacker De'Vondre Campbell spent a portion of this week preparing with the first-team defense.

The coaches know Jones has the talent to start immediately. Now he has to show the mental capacity to pick up all the intricacies of playing middle linebacker.

"One of the things it involves is having that voice and having the ability to make the calls, make the checks," Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. "He's the one for us on the field that has to kind of direct the traffic. I've seen a real improvement with that. He went through the first four days, hit a little lull, and then, `Man, there was a lot in.' And then once we said, `OK, in the game, these are going to be the few things that we'll play,' it ramped right back up again.

"I see that spike going up again this week. The communication is better. He's had more reps at it. He's more familiar with his guys, too. We want to encourage him, `Hey man, this is your group to take control of when you're on the field, whoever the Mike linebacker is. Call it and run it.' And he's done that."

http://www.espn.com/blog/atlanta-falcons/post/_/id/21889/falcons-rookie-deion-jones-speeding-up-his-learning-curve

 

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34 minutes ago, FentayeJones said:

 

This is awesome.  Can y'all believe we're sitting here actually watching new draft picks ball out for a change?? Lawd...

The more reps the better.  A few mistakes along the way are fine by me. Heck, he already overcomes them with strong plays and speed to the ball.

I already noticed how he interacted with Campbell in that last game.  I think they play off each other and that gets me pumped.

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7 minutes ago, HASHBROWN3 said:

A few mistakes along the way are fine by me.

Everybody keep mentioning mistakes and our new linebackers in the same sentence as though our veteran linebackers played mistake free football last year.  Well I'm here to dispell that myth!  After rewatching last years games, I've come to the conclusion that they all were walking mistakes including Paul Worrilow!  Now put those boys out there and lets play ball!

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27 minutes ago, peoriabird said:

Everybody keep mentioning mistakes and our new linebackers in the same sentence as though our veteran linebackers played mistake free football last year.  Well I'm here to dispell that myth!  After rewatching last years games, I've come to the conclusion that they all were walking mistakes including Paul Worrilow!  Now put those boys out there and lets play ball!

You got a good point there birdman...

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19 minutes ago, ICD said:

Keep flying to the ball just don't get hurt. At times last week they did seem pretty reckless throwing their bodies around. 

 

I agree...i caught a few of those plays where I got a little nervous. .they had their juices flowing so it's understandable being the first game..hopefully they will learn to have controlled aggression

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3 minutes ago, RING OF HONOR said:

I agree...i caught a few of those plays where I got a little nervous. .they had their juices flowing so it's understandable being the first game..hopefully they will learn to have controlled aggression

I hear you man, but I love it. You're more likely to get hurt being cautious than just letting it all hang out......

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3 minutes ago, Vandy said:

I hear you man, but I love it. You're more likely to get hurt being cautious than just letting it all hang out......

I agree...im not saying play cautious...when I say controlled aggression. .i mean finish the tackle the right way..just don't throw yourself in a hole blindly trying to hit something just to be in the play..cautious and football don't mix..lol

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