The Meaning Behind Julio Jones’s ‘Little Black Bag’ & Calling Out Coaches


Getty Julio Jones #11 of the Atlanta Falcons warms up before the game against the Denver Broncos.

Everyone has their way of doing things and for Julio Jones, it’s the old school way. The Falcons star has his notes from week to week piled up in a little black bag.

If you reach into that bag, you’ll find plays written out detailing the running and passing game, depth charts of opponents, including everything he needs to know about the secondary from height to speed.

Jones, who will turn 32 next year, is a big pen-to-paper guy while most of the team carries around their tablets to take notes and study the plays.

“Everybody learns differently. It’s just my era, the way I came up,” Jones said via Atlanta-Journal Constitution. “Just having the physical copies in my hand. The iPads die, you have to charge them up. You misplace them now and then, things like that. I know where my papers are at. It’s always good to easily review it. An iPad, they got so much stuff on it — OK, I gotta go here, I gotta go to ‘team,’ I gotta go ’360.’ Now I gotta find this game.

“I just don’t want to deal with that. I just want to be able to write my notes on there and look at the paper copies. I know what’s going on throughout the week, just the mental side of the game plan.”

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Jones Isn’t Afraid to Call Out Raheem Morris

According to the experts, it’s been proven that using a pen and paper can improve a person’s ability to remember things. Jones makes a good case for that. He’s memorized all of the notes inside that little black bag and isn’t afraid to call out interim coach Raheem Morris, or any coach for that matter, if something doesn’t add up.

“If you contradict yourself as a coach, he will pull those notes out of that little black bag and show you exactly what you said wrong,” Falcons interim coach Raheem Morris said. “He is very rarely wrong. He knows exactly where he wants to be. He knows where he’s supposed to be in the alignments. He knows where he should be on assignments. He knows exactly where he should be based on the call and how it was tagged and everything that’s going to happen throughout the game. So when he goes out there, he kind of views the game sort of like a quarterback.”

Clearly, his hard work in the classroom has paid off on the field over the years.

Jones’ Successful NFL Career

If you’re not taking notes by now, well you should be.

The 2020 season will mark a decade since Jones joined the NFL. Over those 10 seasons, Jones has tallied 12,802 yards and 60 touchdowns. Though he’s been sidelined for three games this fall, he should touch 1,000-yards for the seventh consecutive year. He currently sits at 677 yards on the season and is expected to play this week in the New Orleans Saints rematch.

As for his little black bag?

“I just keep it all, go over it, make sure I put my notes over it, and just be ready to go,” Jones said. “It’s very simple because I’ve been doing it for so long. I haven’t even thought about the whole process of how it goes with what I do. But they always have it available for me. I’m never looking for it.”

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