Ryan, Jones become fast friends for Falcons

BUFORD, Ga. (AP) - The NFL lockout hasn't affected an emerging friendship between Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and rookie receiver Julio Jones. Over the past two months, the teammates have met at Ryan's suburban Atlanta home to study formations and discuss how Jones, the NFL's No. 6 overall draft pick, will fit into the offense. As Ryan sees it, he must help Jones blend into the offense quickly. Atlanta, despite earning the NFC's No. 1 playoff seed last
season, managed just 44 plays of 20 yards or longer, tying Carolina for the fewest in the league. Ryan has acknowledged that his pride was hurt in the postseason, getting blown out at home by eventual Super Bowl champion Green Bay as the offense broke down.

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AP-NY-06-22-11 2028EDT