After the Atlanta Falcons traded future Hall of Famer Julio Jones, whatever wind remained in the sails of fans around the world seemed to go with it.
However, if there is a small gleam of light that Atlanta Falcons fans can hold onto as we enter July it’s that 2020 prepared us for the future and that this offense can be successful without Julio in the lineup. The franchise averaged 25 points per game with Julio on the field and 24 points per game when he was on the sidelines.
With the addition of Mike Davis, Kyle Pitts, and Frank Darby this off-season, the Falcons are in a much better position this season to be without Julio than they were in 2020.
Atlanta Falcons won’t be as bad as many believe
While Atlanta Falcons fans have not had long to get used to the idea of Julio not being in the black and red any longer, the franchise has known for months – more importantly, so has the offensive coordinator and head coach Arthur Smith.
The nearly four-month head start he was given will prove to be critical as he designs an offense to take advantage of the talent he will have on this roster in 2021. More importantly, this offense will be his and his alone, there will be no adapting someone else’s playbook or any of the other garbage this fan base was subjected to under the derelict direction of Dan Quinn.
There will be a lot of pressure on Calvin Ridley to perform in 2021 now that he is going to be WR1 but this pressure is not new to him as he has had that role on every other level of football he has ever played and clearly he has been ultra-successful.
The supporting cast behind Ridley has a lot of talent and several guys that, while they may not be household names, are more than capable of being WR2 on a lot of teams across the league.
Arthur Smith has had time to create an offense that will showcase the talent of the guys that make the active roster in his first season as head coach and the Falcons will have a chance to be the surprise team not only in the NFC but across the NFL.