Sometimes, it’s hard to tell when Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones is joking, or if he’s dead serious.
“I’m not ever going to lie to you, I’m going crazy this year,” Jones told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution after his podium session Wednesday. “I’m going crazy. I’ve been doing everything that I need to do. I’m taking care of my body. Physically and mentally, I’ll be ready to go.”
Jones has been working off to the side with the training staff and is about two weeks away from fully returning from a foot injury.
Crazy, like 2,000 yards crazy, Jones was asked.
“Well, I’m not a prediction-type guy, but I might mess around and go three (thousand), you know what I’m talking about,” Jones said with a straight face.
Jones had a franchise-record 136 catches and 1,871 yards receiving in 2015. Last season, Jones had 1,677 yards receiving.
The league mark of 1,954 yards was set by Detroit’s Calvin Johnson in 2012.
Jones, who has 10,731 career receiving yards and is set to pass Roddy White (10,863) as the franchise’s leader in career receiving yards.
Jones was guarded about his contract situation at the podium, but opened up some off to the side.
“As far as the contract, I don’t go to sleep thinking about it,” Jones said. “I don’t wake up thinking about it. I just try to be the best person that I can be today and then when tomorrow comes, I’m going to try and be the best person I can that day.”
After the team re-worked his contract July 27, the team promised him an extension. Jones’ pending new contract extension is projected to be worth more than $20 million per year.
“Each and every day, once the contract talk (comes up) it’s not even about me, I know my worth,” Jones said. “It’s just more about family. I just look at stuff like that as family. Not just me. I’ve got family and everybody else, that’s why I do this. That’s my why. Why I put in all of these sacrifices and put everything on the line for them.”
Jones also is involved in a business-development project near the Mall of Georgia that is progressing.
“It’s time to break some soil,” Jones said. “Everything is like just for generations. For my people, just to make sure. … I’m the captain. I want to do it right the first time. I don’t want to have a second time, third time or a fourth time trying to figure it out. I want to just take my time with everything. I’m not in a rush to do anything. I’m very patient.”
Jones insisted that he didn’t have an offseason surgery and that he just has a “foot injury.”
Falcons coach Dan Quinn believes that Jones is 10 days to two weeks away from fully participating in practice.
“When he can go full haul, then we’ll cut him loose with everything,” Quinn said.
Jones, linebacker Deion Jones and newly signed defensive end Allen Bailey worked off to the side with trainers Wednesday. Bailey is just get acclimated after an the offseason doesn’t’ have a known injury.
“When they get back to full go, we’ll ramp them back up more,” Quinn said. “I would imagine they’ll be back into the practice part soon and then the team part soon. Generally, we are more cautious in the (exhibition) season with (Julio Jones).”
Jones said he’s is no rush to return.
“I’m getting better every day,” Jones said. “I’m taking small strides. The organization, Q, everybody has been doing a great job with me on the side and letting me go at my pace to get back to full speed.”
Julio Jones has done more coaching of the wide receivers.
“As far as helping the young guys it’s been great,” Jones said.
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan don’t believe he’ll have a problem linking back up with Julio Jones upon his return.
“We’ve got nine years of banked reps,” Ryan said. “That’s a long time of working with another player. Where our guys are going to be, he’s probably the person I’m most in sync with, regardless of how much time he spends on the practice field.”
Jones concurred with Ryan.
“Timing is not at issue anymore,” Jones said. “I know where Matt wants me to be at and I need to get there. It’s just simple. It’s cut and dry. We’ll be ready to go.”
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