So the Falcons quarterback is understandably optimistic about the fact his star wideout is available for a change.
“It’s huge when you get any player to be able to participate fully,” Ryan said, via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “That’s critical. But you never know, the offseason and seasons are different every year. I think he came through the year, but I don’t want to speak for him, but he came through the year fairly healthy.
“We’ll see where he’s at. I haven’t been able to work with him up till this point. But I will start next Monday. I’m excited about getting back to work not only with him, but with all of our guys.”
Jones missed last year’s offseason program after surgery on his perpetually problematic foot, but continued to produce at a high level during the season.
Ryan was also encouraged by the fact Jones has worked out with Hall of Fame wideout Terrell Owens.
“T.O. is one of the best workers of all time,” Ryan said. “He learned from Jerry Rice and kind of modeled his stuff after that. I think the more you surround yourself with guys with a work ethic like that it’s a good thing. Julio has a great work ethic, too. He’s one of the best conditioned and best working athletes that I’ve ever been around.”
And when the Falcons open their offseason program next week, he’ll get a chance to see that himself for a change.