Calvin Ridley: ‘No Pressure to Replace Julio’
The Atlanta Falcons have a new No. 1 wide receiver after trading future Hall of Famer Julio Jones to the Tennessee Titans earlier in the offseason. Former Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley will now assume the role as Matt Ryan's top threat. Ridley was unavailable to participate in Falcons minicamp due to a foot surgery however he meet with the media after watching the practices take place.
Ridley is going into his fourth season as a professional but has spent his career as the No. 2 option with his Alabama counterpart taking coverage away from Ridley. So does the 2020 Second Team All-Pro feel pressure to fill in Jones' shoes.
"No, no pressure, no pressure. No pressure at all," said Ridley.
The Ft. Lauderdale, FL. native already has 3,061 receiving yards with 26 touchdowns in his young career and he already has experience playing without the likes of Jones. Jones missed seven games last year due to different injuries and Ridley performed admirably.
In the seven games as the Falcons top option last season Ridley was the beneficiary of 79 targets and hauled in 50 receptions for 765 yards and three touchdowns. Will those seven games make it easier for Ridley to ascend to a permanent No. 1 role?
"I guess it makes it easier, I've played with Julio, Mahamed Sanu, I mean, since day one those guys I feel like I've been moving toward that way. I can do it by myself, I mean obviously I'm not by myself. We have other players who are really good but I feel like I've been ready I just needed the opportunity to get in those positions," said Ridley.
Ridley is expected to fully recover from the offseason foot surgery and be ready for the start of the Atlanta's training camp. The Falcons open the season on Sept. 12 against the Philadelphia Eagles in Mercedes Benz Stadium.
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