After minicamp is over, you can still invite Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones over for the summer barbecue cookout.
But just don’t put an beef brisket or pulled pork on his plate. You’ll need to have some free-range chicken and organic veggies for the fleet Pro Bowl route runner.
“Don’t get me wrong, I ain’t no health nut,” Jones said after minicamp practice Tuesday. “I eat candy, brownies, and whatever the case maybe, but I just parted ways with (beef and pork).”
Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez has been in Jones’ ear. He’s written a book called the “All-Pro Diet” and has a convert in Jones.
“I’m just trying stuff,” Jones said. “I’m young, and I wanted to try it out and see how it felt. Then just talking to Tony Gonzalez about how healthy he eats and everything else. I feel a lot better. I feel like I recover a lot better.”
Jones, who also practices yoga, is not ready to do any poultry-commission commercials.
However, he did go to California on Friday to shoot a commercial for Under Armour, an apparel company, along with Houston running back Arian Foster.
“I haven’t seen the commercial yet,” Jones said. “I don’t know when it comes out. We have to approve the commercial before it comes out.”
While Jones is selling shoes and sports apparel, he doesn’t plan to preach about his new diet.
“It probably won’t help everybody,” Jones said. “Everybody’s body is different, but you can always just try something. It will never hurt you by taking different things out of your diet.”
It addition to eating chicken and veggies, Jones is a big fan of turkey bacon and turkey burgers.
“It wasn’t hard at all, but you have to be very disciplined,” Jones said. “I feel like I’m a very disciplined person. If I put my mind to something, I’m going to accomplish it.”
Jones, still is listed at 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds by the Falcons, but he appears leaner.
While Jones has changed his eating habits, don’t expect him to change his businessman-like approach to the game. He seems to enjoy that his running mate Roddy White will go on national television and take on Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman in a shout-fest.
Jones loves it, but that’s just not his style.
“Me and Roddy are two different people. … Roddy does his talking and however he deals with preparing for a game or whatever,” Jones said. “With me, I don’t say (anything). I let my play do the talking.”
Jones blossomed last season. He caught 79 passes for 1,198 yards and 10 touchdowns last season and went to his first Pro Bowl.
The scary part for cornerbacks around the NFL is that Jones can improve. White didn’t hit his stride until his third season in the league. If Jones improves and White maintains his level of play, they have a shot a being the best tandem in the league.
“The sky is the limit,” White said. “Coming into this year, this is Jules’ third year, and he’s gotten better each and every year. He’s going to be better. We just have to continue to grow together.”
Jones doesn’t want to project what type of numbers he could amass.
“I don’t ever set any goals for myself,” Jones said. “All that other stuff is going to come. Pro Bowl or whatever the case may be, all that stuff is going to come if you go out there and give 100 percent every time.”
He also plans to do his part to help the team develop rookie cornerbacks Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford, who were selected in the first and second rounds of the draft. Instead of bringing them along slowly, Falcons coach Mike Smith has them lining up against Jones and White.
“They are trying,” Jones said. “But you have two Pro Bowlers out there, me and Roddy and we’ve got Harry Douglas and Drew Davis. We can go out there and make plays, and we’ve been in the offense so long.
“Just having a great quarterback like Matt Ryan, it makes it hard for those guys to come right in. One thing I can say about them, is that they give effort. They don’t give up. You can see how hard they are going to compete.”
White plans to join Jones’ diet.
“I’m giving up pork, too,” he said.
June 23-29: NFL Rookie Symposium
July 24-25: Falcons set to open training camp
Aug. 5-6: Bengals vs. Falcons practices
Aug. 8: Exhibition opener against Cincinnati at 8 p.m. at Georgia Dome
Aug. 31: Roster cut to 53 players
Sept. 8: Regular-season opener at New Orleans at 1 p.m.