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'Face of The Falcons': Who Replaces the Julio Jones Image?

Julio Jones' departure leaves a void in on-field production that a franchise can literally make calculations about ... and then fill. But how do you calculate "face of the franchise''?

The Atlanta Falcons might be able to make up for the departure of Julio Jones in terms of wins and losses and the salary-cap balance sheet. Certainly that's what new coach Arthur Smith is referring to when he labels the trade of an all-time great receiver to the Tennessee Titans as a "win-win.''

But what about what's been lost in "stature''? In "image''? In the value of "face of the franchise'' stuff?

Our colleagues at 92.9 The Game pose an important question in this regard.

Yes, an NFL team's "face'' is always going to be its QB, and Matt Ryan is a success by that measure. But then who steps up?

Is it the new coach, Smith, who ideally would put his mark on the franchise in a way that would allow him to be a positive "face''? Is it Arthur Blank, the owner, who has historically had no particular problem with the glare of the spotlight?

Does it have to be an offensive player? If that's the case, top rookie Kyle Pitts will have eyeballs on him to see just how soon he's ready for his close-up.

READ MORE: Atlanta Falcons Rookie TE Kyle Pitts: Wave of The NFL Future

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Or maybe the baton is easily passed from one receiver, Julio, to his "younger brother,'' fellow standout receiver Calvin Ridley?

Is it possible that the right guy can it be a defensive star, which on this team might mean it is a job that falls to Grady Jarrett?

"I think it's Grady by default, because of the stuff he's doing here in the community and he's entrenched himself as a Falcons being from here, playing here, it has to be Grady," says Hugh Douglas, speaking on the subject with John Fricke on "The Game.''

This "face of the franchise'' issue can be about TV commercials and billboards and magazine covers. But it can also be about how the locker room is run and how the franchise is perceived.

It can be about leadership.

Julio Jones' departure leaves a void in on-field production that a franchise can literally make calculations about ... and then fill. But how do you calculate "face of the franchise''?

You don't. You watch things play out ... and you hope you, as a franchise, have put the right pieces in place.

READ MORE: Dan Quinn: Troy Aikman & Michael Irvin Reveal Thoughts On Change