The first-year Atlanta Falcons coach Arthur Smith never really had a chance to work with wide All-Pro receiver Julio Jones. The former Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator was alone engaged in January, about five months before Atlanta commercialized the 32-year-old game star in, ironically, in Tennessee.
While the Titans welcome AJ Brown and others into this organization they are understandably excited after the blockbuster transaction, Smith kept his eyes on the task at hand as he spoke to reporters ahead of Tuesday’s start of mandatory minicamp sessions.
“My concern is the guys we (have) on this list,” Smith explains, per D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I’ve dealt with a lot of situations, week in and week out and my experience in Tennessee, it doesn’t matter. We’re going to roll the ball outside. We’re going to shoot. There’s going to be game to play and our goal is to go on to win. No different than when. we were dealing with the COVID-19 number against Buffalo, we had four widths for that game.
“My job as a coach is to prepare me to play. We’re going to do everything we have to do to win this game. That’s a little bit like the guard, and I don’t worry about the players I’ve never coached.”
While Smith also wished Jones well in his opening remarks, he left no doubt that he would have little interest in discussing the business publicly as spring turns to summer or at any point this fall. For now, he will focus on promoting Calvin Ridley to the top of the depth chart in receiver position and to get tight rookie Kyle Pitts ready for prime time and catching passes from a “shot” Matt Ryan.