Matt Ryan fine with Julio Jones missing workouts

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  • By Logan Reardon NFL.com
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Despite missing his No. 1 receiver at offseason workouts, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan isn't breaking a sweat.

Julio Jones is looking for a new contract. He skipped Falcons OTAs before appearing at minicamp, but he didn't participate in drills. Jones is confident a new deal will get done in due time, according to reports from minicamp last week.

"I think there's definitely a rhythm that comes up that you get from practicing together," Ryan said. "But of all the guys that are on our team, I've got the most rapport with him. I just have so many reps stockpiled from games from different situations that we've gone through in our careers. Every coverage you could imagine, we've seen together.

"I know exactly how he's going to operate in certain situations and there's a freedom that comes with that. Obviously the practice portion of it helps and we'll get it when we can get it, but most important is having him fresh and as explosive as possible for game day. When he's explosive and he's fresh, he's tough to stop. So, I'll take him like that."

Last year, the Falcons dealt with significant injuries to running back Devonta Freeman, linebacker Deion Jones and safety Keanu Neal. Keeping Jones healthy through the summer might be the best option for Atlanta, even if his absence is contract-related.

"I think last year was a great opportunity for us," Ryan said. "We had a lot of injuries, a lot of guys that were young at that time that had to step up and fill in for some of the veterans that went down. As a result of that, they improved personally and that makes us a deeper and tougher football team. I think that's going to serve us well going forward.

"I'm confident in the group that we have. You have to have that mindset and belief that we're going to get this done and do it. I'm excited to get started in a couple weeks and see how good of a football team we can be."

The Falcons begin training camp on Monday, July 22 at their training facility in Flowery Branch, Georgia. It is unknown if Jones will be there practicing, but Ryan clearly isn't worried about his chemistry with the star wideout.

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