Mad Mike Thoughts: How To Defend Julio Jones

In an article written by ESPN Vaughn McClure. Some of the NFL’s top corner explain how you want to defend Julio Jones.

Joe Haden on defending Julio Jones

“You try to jam him, but you try to stay top down,” Haden said. “You want him catching the ball coming back to the quarterback. Comebacks and curls and hitches and things like that that won’t beat you. You got to have a little give and take. Take away the post and fades and things like that, kind of curls and comebacks and try to make plays on the ball like that. You have to play Julio top down if you’re the only one guarding him.”

Mad Mikes Thoughts

Problem I have with Haden’s philosophy is Julio Jones 6’3 220 runs a 4.3… You have to respect his ability to break the tackles of linebackers, corners and safeties. If you’re going to give him hitch and curls routes, you better have good tackling corners.

Patrick Peterson on defending Julio Jones

“You’ve got to disrupt the timing between him and the quarterback; that’s the best way to get it, because he’s got the best ball skills in the game,” Peterson said. “If the ball’s in the air and you don’t disrupt the timing between him and the quarterback to give him a free release and a free go, nine times out of 10 he’s going to come down with the ball. … You may have to play a lot of 55 catch against him: keep a guy underneath, keep a guy over the top.”

Mad Mikes Thoughts

Playing this coverage probably not the smartest thing to do. Offensive Kyle Shanahan has been doing a great job moving Julio around in the first couple games. Putting him in the slot and stack formations, which puts the pressure on the secondary to make a decision on whether to play man or zone. If you decide leave second or third corner on him and 9 times out of 10 Julio is going to win that battle.

Richard Sherman on Julio Jones

“He’s a hard-working guy,” Sherman said of Jones. “He’s probably one of the more blue-collar receivers in the league. He works hard every play. He plays hard, blocks hard, runs his routes as hard as he can to the best of his ability. And that’s what you’ve got to respect about a guy who plays 60 out of 60 plays at 100 percent.”

“Just returning that effort,” Sherman said. “You give him 100 percent every play. It’s going to be a battle. He’s going to be a great athlete. You’re going to win some. He’s going to win some. You’ve got to expect that. And the moment you take a play off is the moment he gets by you.”

Mad Mikes Final thoughts

Richard Sherman said it best. Julio works hard every play. You have to match his effort, be in supreme physical condition because if you take one play off. He could have you looking like this.

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What are your thoughts? How would you defend Julio Jones?

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