You many have seen seen on Falcons Maven that the youth movement is officially under way in Atlanta. Even though the Julio Jones trade was also in part due to salary-cap problems, and the wide receiver being asked to moved, there really was no other way for the team to go.
But what makes it interesting is that the Falcons haven't just gone younger, but faster.
A lot faster.
The exception to this for now, of course, is 36-year-old quarterback Matt Ryan. But there's a new coaching staff, a revamped offense and Calvin Ridley is stepping into the No. 1 receiving role.
"I had some games without Jones," Ridley said. "I'm more than ready for that role. I just can't wait to make plays."
Ridley's had the role before at Alabama, but also for part of last season when Jones was out with an injury. Despite a foot injury he led the Falcons in every receiving category while making 90 catches for 1,347 yards and nine touchdowns.
At age 26, being a team leaders is now also part of his job description.
"I'm one of the guys they will come to and ask for advice," Ridley said. "It's really easy to do it when you know what you're doing on the field."
Overall, the Falcons added nine rookies to the mix this offseason including tight end Kyle Pitts, the first-round selection who became the second NFL player born in the 2000s to be drafted.
The rejuvenated offense also includes a speedy group of wide receivers including Russell Gage and Olamide Zaccheau.
A better example may be at running back, where Cordarrelle Patterson has been moved from wide receiver.
Coach Arthur Smith is determined to still have an offense that creates mismatches, but how without Jones will be different.
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You many have seen seen on Falcons Maven that the youth movement is officially under way in Atlanta. Even though the Julio Jones trade was also in part due to salary-cap problems, and the wide receiver being asked to moved, there really was no other way for the team to go. Subscribe for full article
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