Julio Jones, the Falcons’ first round draft pick, took part in his first practice with members of team on Tuesday.
Jones was cleared to run by Dr. Robert Anderson, a foot specialist in Charlotte, last Tuesday. Jones just jogged through a couple of routes and appeared fine during the seven-on-seven drills.
He spent most of his time listening to the play call and then getting the details of the play from quarterback Matt Ryan or John Parker Wilson.
“They just told me to take it very slow,” Jones said. ”That’s what I’m going to do. I’m not coming out here to run full speed today. I’m going to jog a couple of routes and catch a couple of balls.”
He completed the workout at the NFL scouting combine in February with a stress fracture in his left foot. He had surgery in March.
The Falcons made a big trade to move up 21 spots in the first round to select Jones. They gave up five picks and received one from the Cleveland Browns in the mega-deal.
The team is expecting Jones to help provide some explosive plays on offense. After being drafted, he received a playbook and has been studying.
“The other day, Matt Ryan and John Parker Wilson, they looked over the book with me and told me what I needed to study as far as formations and what we use a lot,” Jones said. “That’s what I’ve been doing. That’s the stuff that I’ve been mainly focusing on.”
Mike Mularkey, the Falcons’ offensive coordinator, coached with Alabama coach Nick Saban in Miami. Jones recognizes some of the plays in the Falcons’ playbook.
“It’s just that the terminology is different,” Jones said. “I just have to catch on to the different terminology.”
During the hour long workout, Jones had to make sure he didn’t try to go too hard while testing out his ankle.
“It’s very hard being an athlete and trying to dial it down like that, but I’m not in a race,” Jones said. “These guys know my foot was hurt. They need me for the season. I’m just going to try to work my way back up now.”
Before taking the field, Jones went around and introduced himself to the players.
“I wanted to come out here and shake these guys’ hands and put a face with a name,” Jones said. “These guys have been great to me and we want to continue that.”
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog