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The Silent Falcon

In sports there is a correlation between trash talk and greatness. The common thought is if you trash talk you need to have the skills to back up the talk. Deion Sanders, Michael Jordan are two great examples for players that backed up their trash talk. Kevin Garnett as a rookie trash talked MJ when his teammate was having a good game over Jordan. It did not turn out well as Jordan had more points than all the Timberwolves starters over the next few minutes of time. Garnet learned the lesson to never trash talk the GOAT.

            Julio Jones is a top 5 wide receiver all time. I am sorry but I needed to say that. Jones is the definition of a silent superstar. You will hear very little about Julio Jones causing any problems not related to the other teams’ cornerbacks. Other star wide receivers are muddled with on and off the field controversy, Odell Beckham Jr., and Antonio Brown to name a few.

            The second type of superstar is oftentimes more reserved, keeps to himself, I know them as the silent assassin. These types of players will not boast their stats or awards and at times their careers can be overlooked during their playing days. Tim Duncan was always seen as a top tier player, but his stats after he retired show how out of this world Duncan was. He made the playoffs every year of his career and had 50 wins every season of his career except for the shortened lockout season in 1998 when the Spurs went 37-13 and won the finals (San Antonio, n.d.).

            More times than not the louder, more brash player will get more credit than the quiet player racking up the better stats. In 2018 Julio Jones set the record for most 1400 receiving yard seasons in a row with 5 years (Ledbetter, 2018). Last year I remember watching the Atlanta vs. Tampa Bay game, week 17 and Julio needs just 6 yards to extend the streak to 6 years in a row. Tampa Bay and top gunslinger Jameis Winston won the toss and elected to receive. I knew the Falcons were going to get the ball back. What I did not know was that a different record was going to be broken that night. On the first play of overtime Winston does what he does best and throws an interception to seal his fate, the Buccaneer’s fate, the Falcon’s fate, and most importantly Julio Jones’ fate.

            Julio Jones is a top 5 wide receiver all time. Jones is ranked 25th all time for receiving yards in his career and with another 1400 receiving season he can jump all the way to 16th all time (Career receiving yards, 2020). Let us assume Jones is not human and gets 3 more years in a row of 1400 yard seasons. If Julio can maintain this consistency after the third year, he will skyrocket behind another quiet superstar, Larry Fitzgerald. I understand if this seems unbelievable 8 years in a row breaking 1400 yards. Still if we change the conditions to just 1000 yards a season it will only be 5 years until Jones breaks the top 3.

If Jones can keep the same level of consistency that he has shown in the past, no one will be able to say that he is not one of the best wide receivers all time. Julio will be named in the top 5 with the others being Jerry Rice, Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, and a toss-up between Tony Gonzalez and Larry Fitzgerald  I believe Jones is underappreciated because of his quiet demeanor but will get the respect he deserves once it is his time to hang up the cleats.

Wikimedia Foundation. (2020, April 22). List of National Football League career receiving yards leaders. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_National_Football_League_career_receiving_yards_leaders

San Antonio Spurs Franchise Index. (n.d.). Retrieved April 25, 2020, from https://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/SAS/

Ledbetter, D. O. (2018, December 10). Falcons’ Julio Jones sets NFL record with another 1,400-yard season . Retrieved April 25, 2020, from https://www.ajc.com/sports/football/jones-first-player-nfl-history-with-more-than-400-yards-receiving-five-consecutive-seasons/1j0RCRqgJr0D4V9aJ75xQO/

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