Atlanta huge receiver Calvin Ridley owed his file-placing rookie time in the NFL to three aspects, Falcons coach Dan Quinn reported — his Alabama qualifications, his mentoring teammates and his willingness to get the job done.
“I assume coming in, Calvin had fantastic practical experience at Alabama,” Quinn reported in the course of a push meeting on Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Mix in Indianapolis. “From the technique that they ran, he genuinely had very good practical experience by means of (coach) Nick (Saban) and their technique there.
“Coming in, he also had some fantastic mentors right here in Atlanta from (huge receivers) Mohamed (Sanu) and from Julio (Jones). In many cases as a participant, what do you do which is unrequired get the job done? The demanded: Be right here at this time you adhere to this. So driving the scenes, he and Mohamed and Julio expended a large amount of unrequired get the job done, and to have teammates that you can question concerns to –‘Hey, never speak to me rookie.’ It’s just the opposite in Atlanta, where they want to choose a dude in and support him produce.”
Immediately after catching 224 passes for 2,781 yards and 19 touchdowns at Alabama, Ridley joined the Falcons as a initial-round draft option previous year. Jones also arrived to Atlanta as a initial-round draft option in 2011 just after catching 179 passes for 2,653 yards and 15 touchdowns at Alabama.
Ridley caught 64 passes for 821 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2018. Jones had 54 receptions for 959 yards and eight touchdowns as a rookie. He is long gone on to accumulate 698 receptions for 10,731 yards and 51 touchdowns and produced the Pro Bowl 6 occasions and initial-group All-Pro twice.
Ridley led all rookie huge receivers in receptions, getting yards and landing receptions and broke the Falcons’ rookie file for TD catches set by tight stop Junior Miller in 1990.
Ridley earned a spot on the Pro Soccer Writers of America’s All-Rookie group for 2018.
“His competitive model sets him aside,” Quinn reported of Ridley. “He needs to go for it. So when you have that perspective and some participant mentors like he did, I assume all that recipe is there with very good accomplishment — and a quarterback who can be genuinely direct, as well. For Matt Ryan to say, ‘Cal, assume about this one to right here.’ So Matt can be like a coach on the subject, especially to a rookie.
“I recall acquiring a conversation with Calvin: ‘Have you talked to Matt?’ ‘No, not nonetheless.’ ‘So go ahead and speak to him. He needs your suggestions as effectively: What do you assume of the depth of this route? Matt will be extremely apparent with you.’
“So looking at that relationship construct is a large issue. For fellas like Matt and Julio and Mohamed who have this large influence on the participant, the natural environment that the players have designed will allow a rookie to come in and say, ‘OK, I am by now aspect of this and accountable.'”
Mark Inabinett is a sports activities reporter for Alabama Media Team. Adhere to him on Twitter at @AMarkG1.