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Schultz: Falcons’ Arthur Smith on Julio Jones: ‘I don’t worry about players I never coached’ - The Athletic


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1 minute ago, CrimsonFalcon said:

Personally, I'm a fire and brimstone in your face type when you do wrong, a motivator when you can't (or feel like doing it) and a public praise after it's been type.

 

I'm having to deal with this with a constant turnover at work.

I'm scared for our next generation. I have had a dozen conversations in the last 5 months in my travels calling on business contacts & the recurring theme is that they have been unable to find young people who are willing to work & when they do, they leave because they actually had to work & chose to collect government provided unemployment or giveaways, even despite the fact that they would have made much more money working.  This cannot be good for their overall sense of self worth & personal growth. 

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12 minutes ago, Red-E said:

Don't know if this was posted but it like 1:40 in they talk about him wanting to leave

it doesn't matter what Julio wants or needs anymore.  It isn't about Julio anyways.  It's about our team.  There will never be one player whose needs are any more important than the needs of other players.  Some have more talent & physical prowess & the market dictates by supply & demand that those players will earn more in keeping with the value they bring.  But when you reach a point of diminishing returns or that the ROI is lopsided or cohesively destructive, then you move on & not look back at past history.  WE have a really bad habit of living in the past on AFMB unfortunately.  AS & TF spend zero energy remembering Julio Jones or considering what he's now doing I promise you that.  And I have a feeling that our team's spirit is improving without his presence right now.

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On 6/8/2021 at 10:42 PM, JayOzOne said:

There are obvious questions about the team that we see this season. Will the secondary improve? Will the OL gel? Will we get production out of the DL?

But for me, one of the most important question will be if we see guys run out as WR2 and WR3 who would keep those designations on another team? Julio's departure is tough but IMO, the most important impact it'll have on the team will be how it affects receiver depth.

Coach's use of Pitts on the edges will obviously be important. But Gage, Zacchaeus and Darby will have opportunities to play huge roles. Let's hope they step up.

There are a bunch of players competing for WR2 and WR3 now, but AS will likely be bringing in even more between now and start of the season to make sure we get the best guys possible. The shift from Julio to a mere mortal will go just fine.

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16 minutes ago, HASHBROWN3 said:

it doesn't matter what Julio wants or needs anymore.  It isn't about Julio anyways.  It's about our team.  There will never be one player whose needs are any more important than the needs of other players.  Some have more talent & physical prowess & the market dictates by supply & demand that those players will earn more in keeping with the value they bring.  But when you reach a point of diminishing returns or that the ROI is lopsided or cohesively destructive, then you move on & not look back at past history.  WE have a really bad habit of living in the past on AFMB unfortunately.  AS & TF spend zero energy remembering Julio Jones or considering what he's now doing I promise you that.  And I have a feeling that our team's spirit is improving without his presence right now.

I totally agree!! I think we will be okay. He knew AS wasn't going to go for the same mess Quinn did.

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4 hours ago, g-dawg said:

This is the first "non-douchey" article Schultz has written on the Falcons in awhile.   The guy has talent, just don't always try to be so edgy and contrarian for contrarian-sake.

The one breaking down the Julio trade was really good too.

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On 6/8/2021 at 9:54 PM, Goober Pyle said:

If there’s one common trait among great offensive coordinators, it’s this: They don’t lack confidence. It’s not that they discount the greatness of players or what having potentially the best player on the field can do for his team. It’s just that they so soundly believe in their scheme, playbook and creative mind, they go into every game believing at some point defensive coaches are going to scream for mercy and melt down into indecipherable piles of mush.

That brings me to Arthur Smith. His creativity as an offensive coordinator in Tennessee is what enabled him to land the Falcons’ head coaching job. But he knew what he was getting into in Atlanta. The roster needed fixing. The salary-cap situation was a relative pit of doom. Matt Ryan was 36 years old. Julio Jones, theoretically the team’s best player, was also nearing the end of his career, coming off a hamstring-hampered half-season and even more importantly wanted out.

Feh. Minor annoyances.

When the Falcons traded Jones and his contract to the Titans in a closeout sale for a second-round pick and a fourth-round pick, it didn’t prompt Smith to rip up his plans for a grand transformation of the Falcons’ offense. He’s got this. His scheme. His playbook. His decision-making.

The Falcons did not assign any player jersey No. 11 on the first day of mandatory minicamp Tuesday. But they had a coach who wasn’t emotionally moved in the least by Jones’ exit.

When I asked Smith about his confidence level in his offense minus Jones, he responded, “My concern is the guys we have on this roster. I’ve dealt with a lot of different situations week to week in my experience in Tennessee. It doesn’t matter. They’re going to roll the ball out there and we’re going to kick off and there’s going to be a game played.”

And moments later, “I don’t worry about players I never coached, Jeff.”

Quite the Belichickian punctuation there.

The Falcons did the right thing trading Jones, even if there’s no doubt that his exit leaves them with a lesser roster. Losing marquee value doesn’t have to equate to misery. Smith’s creative mind was evident Tuesday when he lined up first-round pick Kyle Pitts on the left, on the right and in the slot. Ryan threw to him more than any other receiver in the first two passing drills.

Pitts didn’t look like a tight end. He looked like a new car that Smith wanted to take for a test ride. How does he accelerate and brake? How well does he hug the road on turns? Do people standing on the sidewalk watch in awe?

Smith was not trying to fool anybody. This is minicamp. But it was a brief glimpse into his creative offensive mind, as was the case when I watched film with him two months ago.

 

There’s going to be a transition period with the offense, as there is with any new coordinator and scheme. (See: 2015 under Kyle Shanahan.) There are also questions about how this offensive line will come together and this roster’s talent at running back. But the offense should function better in 2021 simply because it will be coached better.

Quick analytics: In 2020, the Titans ranked eighth in passing touchdowns, second in rushing touchdowns, fourth in points, second in total yardage, fourth in yards per play and sixth in net yards per pass attempt. The Falcons’ respective rankings in those categories: 16, 23, 16, 18, 19, 18.

And, again, Smith knew — knew — Jones wasn’t going to be here. The receiver’s deteriorating relationship with the organization wasn’t a secret. Jones and Smith share the same agent. Jones officially asked out in March. As much as the organization tried to keep this under wraps, Jones’ exit was a done deal long ago.

Smith amusingly twice avoided answering a question about how long he was planning for a team without Jones, saying: “My main concern is our roster and that we’re ready to go this fall. As with any player you have to have contingency plans, where your depth chart is at, where’s your swing tackle. So you’re constantly looking at the roster and you have to plan for what you think it will look like. As we all know in the NFL you have to be able to adapt.” (He repeated similar words moments later when asked the same question a different way.)

He will spend a few days this week moving around tight ends Pitts and Hayden Hurst and receivers Christian Blake, Cordarrelle Patterson, Tajae Sharpe, Olamide Zacchaeus and rookie Frank Darby, seeing how they fit with Calvin Ridley. There are 11 wide receivers and seven tight ends on the roster, but expect the total numbers and the names to change. Also, don’t get married to the idea of “positions.” Smith and Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot thrive on having versatile players.

“I’ve never looked at it like fantasy football: ‘Here’s your 11 personnel. Here’s your 12,’” Smith said. “You try to mix and match. That’s how we’ll play.”

He reaffirmed this roster will be in flux through the summer and into the season. The fact Jones’ $15.3 million base salary is off the cap will leave some breathing space should the front office want to add a player or two off the waiver wire or via trade.

“We could possibly make a trade in camp — you never know,” Smith said. “Everything is on the table.”

It has been for a while, and that’s fine with Smith. Because ultimately, this team’s success in 2021 was going to be determined by the head coach, not Julio Jones.

Hopefully he learned from Tennessee mistakes. Got shutdown in playoffs

 

 

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