Dan Quinn hints at keeping Julio Jones long-term


Dan Quinn is an early favorite to find success as a new NFL head coach because of the weapon-rich offense at his disposal in Atlanta.

Along with franchise passer Matt Ryan, the Falcons' attack comes equipped with arguably the league's finest wideout in Julio Jones.

"What a tough matchup to cover," Quinn told ESPN.com after Tuesday's introductory news conference. "I think one of the things that I respect most is (he's) a relentless competitor, the way he can go attack the ball. I can't wait to get connected with him."

Jones' career-high 1,593 yards ranked third among all receivers this season. Three of his final four games included outbursts of 189, 259 and 107 yards, numbers that look even more impressive considering the utter lack of a ground game in Atlanta. Teams knew he was coming. That could change this season, though, with new play-caller Kyle Shanahan expected to emphasize the run.

With Jones entering the final year of his rookie deal, Falcons owner Arthur Blank told reporters that Quinn -- who owns final say over the 53-man roster -- will decide whether or not to re-sign the pass-catcher. Quinn's words on Tuesday suggest that won't be a tough decision for the new coach.

"The things I've heard about him just in terms of the leader he's become on and off the field, can't wait to connect with him," Quinn said. "For me, just to have the chance to start the process with him, I can't wait. ... We love great players, and we want to celebrate all the good guys that we have. We're trying to collect more great players, not the other way around."

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