Goober Pyle Posted August 5, 2020 Share Posted August 5, 2020 https://www.ajc.com/sports/atlanta-falcons/grady-jarrett-furthers-his-focus-i-think-it-might-even-help-me-be-a-better-player/RHU5PBQHHBESREGQV73SSJUNAY/ He won’t have a choice this year. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced much of the U.S. either to work from home or take extra precautions when forced to go into an office. That also has been the case for the NFL. And when it comes to the Falcons, coach Dan Quinn already advised the players to be responsible once they leave the team facility. For Jarrett, being asked to stay home by his boss isn’t a problem at all. He now has a valid excuse to tell someone when turning down an invitation to an event he didn’t want to attend anyway. Seemingly a homebody throughout the fall, Jarrett said he has used the lack of normalcy since the pandemic began to further his focus on the coming season. “I don’t see people during the year anyway, I’m kind of just working,” Jarrett said. “Work is work, so I never really have much more than four to five people at my house at a time. I might be by myself most of the time, so it’s not going to be big for me. I’m kind of enjoying it. It gives me another excuse to say I can’t go out or do nothing if I’m invited somewhere. I’m enjoying it, and I think it might even help me be a better player.” Jarrett, who totaled a career-best 7.5 sacks in 2019, is coming off of his first Pro Bowl season, which came after he signed a four-year contract worth $68 million. Over time, Jarrett has earned his spot as one of the team’s go-to leaders on the roster. Considering the situation at hand, Jarrett said he’s doing his part to act as an extension to Quinn when it comes to spreading the message of staying at home when the workday is complete. “I feel like guys around here have a pretty good understanding of how important it is,” Jarrett said. “(Quinn) has done a great job of letting them know and letting us know about that. But absolutely, as a leader it’s my job to make sure guys are taking care of themselves away from the facility because we all want to have a season, and that’s going to be big on how we take care of ourselves away from the facility.” Jarrett is preparing for a season that will be like no other. But amid the uncertainty, the Falcons remained busy this offseason by adding veteran defensive linemen Dante Fowler and Charles Harris to the mix. They also signed defensive back Darqueze Dennard on Monday. The team drafted cornerback A.J. Terrell and defensive lineman Marlon Davidson in the first two rounds of the draft, and both figure to see immediate playing time. Last year, the defense finished 18th in the league in rushing yards allowed at 110.9 and 30th in sacks with 28. With the added pieces, the Falcons hope they can boost those numbers and improve their overall production. Undoubtedly, this offseason has created a challenge like no other when it comes to creating the needed chemistry during OTAs and mandatory minicamp. “You either sulk about it or just find a way to make it best,” Jarrett said. “So it’s totally different around here how you got to handle business, but it is what it is and whether it’s getting tested every morning and the way we get to the locker rooms and stuff like that, it’s all different, but it is what it is. I’m glad we are here.” Although the NFL has a protocol in place, nothing is guaranteed about the coming season. Jarrett, who looks to lead the Falcons to the postseason for the first time since the 2017 season, said all he can do is remain optimistic that the NFL will move forward with its season on schedule. “I’ve got confidence and I have faith, not fear,” Jarrett said. “And that’s in everything in my life. So I’m going to prepare to have a full season. At the end of the day, what’s going to happen is going to happen. I’m excited to go out here every day while I can and get ready for a season and focus on being in the league that I’m in, that we are going to be able to have success and be able to get all the way to February for a Super Bowl.” Atl Falcon and Francis York Morgan 1 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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