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Dirk Koetter: Defenses keep Julio Jones from fade routes in red zone

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- While Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter steered clear of why wide receiver screens haven't been successful, he did offer an explanation for not throwing more fade routes to Julio Jones in the red zone.

"Well, most teams that play us, when they are playing man coverage, are usually doubling [Julio]," Koetter said. "So they usually have a safety doubling over the top. Percentage-wise, it wouldn't be in your best interest to throw it.

"We have a lot of plays where (the fade) may be an option to go to Julio, if we get the right coverage. We just haven't had it up at the right time, or they haven't been in the right coverage at the right time."

Jones has three touchdowns this season, two coming in the red zone. The first was a 14-yard reception from Matt Ryan in the fourth quarter of the Cincinnati game. Jones was in the slot one-on-one against safety Reggie Nelson, which was an obvious mismatch. The other was an 8-yard pass from Ryan in Week 3 against Tampa Bay during which Jones got behind single coverage from cornerback Johnthan Banks as safety Dashon Goldson hesitated while pondering whether to double Devin Hester.

Koetter was asked about the possibility of using Roddy White more in those fade routes, since Jones is being taken away.

"Well, Roddy actually has got a couple of touchdown passes on back-shoulder fades over on the other side," Koetter said. "Those are examples of plays where when we don't have the right box count or we're in a fade situation, Matt's looking for the best matchup. There were two of them this year. They don't seem like they're fades because they're not leading [White] right to the back corner of the end zone."

White has a team-leading five touchdown receptions, with four of them in the red zone. Koetter said tight end Levine Toilolo could become more of a red-zone threat moving forward. Toilolo has one touchdown catch: a 1-yard reception in a season-opening win over New Orleans.