Alabama in the Pros

Calvin Ridley “fitting in” very nicely with Atlanta Falcons offense

© Dale Zanine - USA TODAY Sports

As he prepares to enter his rookie season in the National Football League, former Alabama football wide receiver Calvin Ridley arguably landed in the best situation with Julio Jones and the Atlanta Falcons. 

He performed well in rookie minicamp and organized team activities and thus far at mandatory training camp, the first-round selection has earned the respect of his teammates. Ridley’s brand of speed, reliable hands and route running prowess caught the attention of Matt Ryan early on and the 11-year veteran at quarterback continues to praise his newest weapon. After a practice session on last week, the four-time Pro Bowl selection said Ridley is “fitting in” very well.” 


“It’s not going to be hard,” Ryan said on Ridley having success. “He’s a talented player that can do a lot of different things. Certainly, through the offseason and the first couple days of camp, he showed his talent level. I see him having a really good year for us.” 

Pairing Ridley with Jones was the best touch Crimson Tide fans could ask for.

In describing Alabama’s first marquee receiver of the Nick Saban era, Ridley bestowed the highest adoration to someone that will serve as his teacher in the pros. 

“People don’t really know how good Julio is,” Ridley said in an interview. 

“He coaches me in everything. It’s like having another coach on the field.” 

Hailing from Coconut Creek, Fla., Ridley finished his career in Tuscaloosa with better statistics in receptions (224), receiving yards (2,781) and touchdowns (19) than Jones; however, Jones has become one of the biggest faces in the NFL in his first seven seasons.  

Seeing him work with Ridley and eventually pass the torch to him at some point will be interesting.  

Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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