Julio Jones seems happy enough

Falcons receiver not moping despite losing season, and injuries

You wouldn’t know from Julio Jones’ mood Thursday that he’s battling hip and ribs injuries, which caused him to miss practice for the fifth consecutive time dating to last week, nor that the Falcons (6-9) are out of playoff contention as they prepare for Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Bucs (5-10).

He was in good humor while speaking to media for one of the last times this season. Here’s a sample:

On general thoughts of this season and going into next year:

“I’m amazing. I’m in a great place, emotionally. Physically I’ll be ready. I’ll take some time off, recover, get my body right. And just go to work.”

On the contract situation, and the possibility of the team adjusting his deal, extending it, or something for the second offseason in a row:

“That hasn’t even crossed my mind. TD (general manager Thomas Dimitroff), he has been doing a phenomenal job for us and things like that, so they’ll get something done, that’s not my place to discuss. That’s more so the team and my agency.”

Did your hip flare up after that first possession against Carolina, (where had had all four of his receptions and a touchdown):

“No, I was out there, I was drawing some coverages and things like that. A lot of the guys had some one-on-one opportunities. ... It was what it was. I was able to finish the game. It wasn’t like they had to pull me or something like that. I could have played the whole game if needed.”

On Mohamed Sanu’s touchdown and coverage he got (where Jones and Calvin Ridley dragged coverage away running double post routes):

“Just having that presence on the field and going out there and doing your job. The (Carolina) defensive coordinator had been harping to his guys throughout the week, keep your eyes on me and things like that so I just try to go out there and pull coverage if I can. If I don’t pull coverage and I get those one-on-one matchups, I try to take advantage of them.”

On Mohamed Sanu’s leadership:

“I mean just being a dog competitor. The way he finishes runs and things like that. Mohamed, he is not a punk. You’re not going to have your way with him, you’re not going to get into his face. ... He’s going to fight. Every play, every down for you. He’s a brother. Not only just a great player, but a great person.”

On the locker room staying positive through the tough stretch:

“Just keeping everything in-house. There’s always a lot of distractions in football in and of itself. You have a lot of injuries, you have a lot of stuff going on and things like that. It’s about staying connected and staying together and having trust in one another.

“Not letting outside factors and things like that creep into the locker room because they don’t know what goes on they don’t know what you’ve been through. They just look at wins and losses and just be like, oh you’re this and you’re that. You just can’t allow that to creep inside your locker; it’s like a cancer. We did a really good job of that.

“Unfortunately, like you said, on games we came up short. But we’re in great spirits, we fight. We’re going to fight. You’re not going to come to work and not want to win. That’s not who we are, that’s not in our DNA.”

On whether there is anything to be gained Sunday that can carry over to next season:

“It’s a divisional opponent, so it’s one of those things that you just have to play and have fun doing it. You always want to win your division, own your division, you want to play these guys tough, you don’t want to just go out there and play around. It’s your division, you have to play them every year. So go out there and put your best foot forward, that’s what we’re trying to do.”

On adapting to new coaches:

“We’re all professionals here. We control what we control. That’s not on us, but whatever happens, we know we’re going to make the best out of it regardless. ... Transitioning or keeping the same coaches, it doesn’t matter to the players. That’s not our call.”

On Steve Sarkisian:

“He’s been a great coach for us. Everything about him, the way he wants to attack defensive coordinators, as we go through week in and week out, the chess matches through the game, changes things as far as he sees, he’ll adapt He’s been a great coach for us this year. We just fell short in some games and that hurt us. Other than that, he’s a great coach. Been doing a great job for us.”

On expecting to be in the postseason and falling short:

“Every year. It’s one of those things that we don’t come out here and talk about postseason but without a doubt, we should be one of those teams playing in the postseason year in and year out. We have the talent, we have the coaching staff, we have everything to do so. It was just one of those years. We’re not trying to come out here and make excuses and things like that, this year it is what it is.”

On being ready for Sunday:

“I’m good.”