Atlanta All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones, who played for Alabama, was conspicuously absent during media sessions Tuesday after barking loudly on behalf of his former squad Monday as Beasley did media interviews.
Soon after Watson’s game-winning touchdown pass to former walk-on Hunter Renfrow on Monday, Beasley tried to reach Jones.
He’s had more luck getting home to NFL quarterbacks.
Beasley called Jones, “but I didn’t get a pickup,” he said. “I guess it was kind of disappointing, but he said (Tuesday) he was asleep. It’s hard to believe that.”
Ryan recalled Watson’s time shagging balls and helping locker room attendants during the Falcons’ training camp a few years ago. Watson grew up in Gainesville, just a few miles from the team’s headquarters in Flowery Branch.
He has plenty of ties to the organization, as former Falcons running back and current minority owner Warrick Dunn helped stock the Watson family’s home about 10 years ago through his charitable foundation.
“Yeah, for sure. I remember Deshaun being here,” Ryan said. “He’s a great kid, and it was impressive. … I was pulling for him this entire season, and last night for sure. He played extremely well. I’m really happy for him.
“He didn’t say much when he was here; he was quiet and went about his business. He was good for me, though, because he saved my arm a little bit. He would throw to our wideouts during camp and give me a little bit of a rest.”
Beasley was glowing about Watson, too, after the Tigers won their second national championship and first in 35 years. He texted several former teammates and college coaches.
“I’m still on a high right now,” Beasley said. “I’m exceptionally proud. All the work we put in there, we’re actually seeing it come to fruition. I’m so proud of Deshaun, that team … they did a great job.”