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Julio Jones tells opposing defenses to just 'go home'

Julio Jones has emerged as a hot buzz pick to be the NFL's breakout star of 2012, and with good reason.

Jones showed flashes of his enormous potential as a rookie (54 catches, 959 yards, eight touchdowns), and the Atlanta Falcons have a new offensive coordinator in Dirk Koetter dedicated to getting the wide receiver the ball.

Jones will have Pro Bowler Roddy White playing on the other side of the field, the indomitable Tony Gonzalez at tight end, Michael Turner in the backfield to keep defenses honest, and a bulked up Matt Ryan dying to show off his improved arm strength.

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How do you prepare for that as a defense?

"You know what I would do? Just pack up my stuff and go home," a laughing Jones told Yahoo! Sports' Michael Silver on Saturday. "I mean, who are you gonna double? Tony? Roddy? Me? That's six people. What are you gonna do?"

White is the established star, but Jones appears to be poised to take over the starring role in Atlanta.

"I think the guy can catch 80 sleepwalking," said Falcons receivers coach Terry Robiskie. "We'll have some new wrinkles, a couple of things designed to get it in Julio's hands faster, so he can get it and go."

Make no mistake: The Falcons are still stinging from their offensive shutout against the New York Giants in January. It was a wake-up call for a unit that has far too much talent to get blanked by anybody.

Mike Smith's job might depend on Jones becoming the master playmaker the Falcons envisioned when they gave up the world to snag him in the 2011 draft.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @danhanzus.

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