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Steve Sarkisian wants to “maximize” Julio Jones’ red zone opportunities

NFC Championship - Green Bay Packers v Atlanta Falcons

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 22: Julio Jones #11 of the Atlanta Falcons runs after a catch for a 73 yard touchdown against Damarious Randall #23 of the Green Bay Packers in the third quarter in the NFC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome on January 22, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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New Falcons offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian said recently that he hopes to do more than maintain the offensive production that left Atlanta as the league’s highest-scoring team last season.

Sarkisian said his goal is to improve on those results and he outlined one of the ways he thinks the team can do that on Wednesday. Sarkisian said that he’d like to see the ball go wide receiver Julio Jones’ way more often when the team is in the red zone.

Jones had four catches and two touchdowns on eight red zone targets last year. Some of that was due to increased attention from defenses, something that Sarkisian noted while saying he wants to find ways for Jones to make an impact when the chance presents itself.

“I think, No. 1, they were still very good in the red zone,” Sarkisian said, via “But when you have a player like Julio, it’s making sure we maximize his opportunities because there is so much double-coverage, there are so many unique coverages that roll his way that when we don’t get that, let’s make sure he’s one of the primary receivers on that play because it is such a tough matchup for anybody one on one.”

The Falcons were ninth in the league in red zone conversions last year, so there’s some room to grow on that front even if it looks like more of the same would work just fine in Atlanta.