Julio Jones is one of the new faces roaming the Tampa Bay Buccaneers sideline.
Tampa Bay signed Jones to a one-year deal in late-July after one season with the Tennessee Titans.
Jones told the Tampa Bay Times that he’s picking up the team’s offense, which is administered by offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, “fairly quickly.”
“Everything’s coming to me,” Jones said. “The game of football, you just don’t want to have to go out there and think. You want it to become second nature to you. But I’m picking it up fairly quickly, and it’s been good.”
Jones, a seven-time Pro Bowler, has appeared in just 19 of a possible 33 regular season games since 2020 due to injury. After spending the first 10 seasons of his NFL career with the Atlanta Falcons, Jones was acquired by the Titans in 2021.
Jones finished the 2021 regular season with 434 receiving yards and just one receiving touchdown on 31 receptions. The Titans released Jones in March.
Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette referred to Jones as someone who’s “picking things up.” General manager Jason Licht said that Jones has been more than he “expected” while head coach Todd Bowles said the receiver “looks good.”
And Jones is bullish on his health.
“As far as patience-wise, just going out there like, 60-70% and just feeling like you can go out there and compete, I was doing that in the past,” Jones said. “But now I’m just staying ahead of it. Just getting the treatment, the proper treatment, the proper rest, things like that.”
Jones is part of a wide receiving core that includes Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Scott Miller and former Falcons teammate Russell Gage. The 33-year-old Jones will catch passes from the 45-year-old Tom Brady.
Tampa Bay is coming off a 13-4 season that saw it win the NFC South but lose to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC divisional round. The Buccaneers host the Miami Dolphins for their preseason opener on Aug. 13.
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