Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan fully anticipates taking more deep shots this coming season, particularly with a dynamic deep threat such as Julio Jones to target. Last season, Jones averaged 10.33 air yards per target, which ranked 47th in the league. Of course, he made the most of those targets with a league-leading 1,871 receiving yards, including 642 yards after the catch. But a few more deep balls might have put Jones over the 2,000-yard mark.
"Usually, explosive plays have never been an issue. I know we didn't get as many last year as we wanted to. ... We actually had a good amount of explosive plays. We didn't have a good amount of explosive touchdowns. Our guy who can do it the most, Julio, he got a bunch at the beginning of the year, but it's a little harder to get explosive plays when there's always a second guy over the top of you. That's why we had to move him and recreate some. I'm hoping other guys can do it, too."
Jones finished #2 in both formats last year and is a rock-solid 1st round pick in 2016. Not much has changed in Atlanta, so Jones should continue to see a boatload of targets as Matt Ryan’s primary option. A few more touchdowns would certainly help his outlook. Any concern about Jones’ foot seems to be gone now that he’s played in 31 of his last 32 games.