Falcons’ Grady Jarrett reflects on his time with Bryant Young

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

FLOWERY BRANCH — Under the tutelage of Hall of Famer Bryant Young, Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett was named to the Pro Bowl for the first time in the 2019 season.

Some contend Jarrett should have earned Pro Bowl honors in 2018.

Young, who coached the Falcons’ defensive line from 2017-19, had an impact on Jarrett.

“First and foremost, congratulations,” Jarrett said Monday. “It definitely was an honor to be coached by coach Young. I’m super happy for him going into the Hall of Fame. Well deserved. He was somebody that I’m super happy that I was able to spend time with, a lot of time with.”

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Jarrett also liked the life lessons he learned from Young, who played 14 seasons in the trenches for the 49ers.

“We (developed) a relationship that was much deeper than football,” Jarrett said. “It definitely motivates me with him being a Hall of Fame player and him telling me some tips and things to think about as a player. Being aggressive and just my routine throughout the week.”

Jarrett had four, six and 7.5 sacks under Young and became a disruptive fixture in the middle of the Falcons’ defense.

“During the time where he was coaching me, it was important for me to take that next step,” Jarrett said. “He was somebody who helped me get there.”

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They had some fun, too.

“So, I called him O.G. 97,” Jarrett said, laughing. “He always messed with me, ‘Nine Seven, Nine Seven.’ He always told me that he was proud of how I was representing the number and stuff like that. That made me feel good.”

Young delivered an emotional speech Saturday in Canton, Ohio. Jarrett already knew how Young overcame a near career-ending shin injury and how he fought through the death of his son Colby.

“Somebody who really showed no excuses,” Jarrett said. “Whatever life throws at you, you’ve (got) to keep motivating and keep working through injuries and losses. I mean, he’s just somebody that you can learn from in so many different ways.”

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