“He’s still a good football player,” Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles said. “We’ve got to replace Gronk’s catches. We’ve got an extra weapon, especially in the red zone, out in the open field, we’ll put him to use. It gives us a chance to be more creative in some of the things we do. We’re happy to have him.”
Julio Jones Discusses Joining Bucs, Playing with Tom Brady
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers beefed up their receiving corps by bringing in future Hall of Fame wide receiver Julio Jones, who spoke about his excitement to join the team and the opportunity to play with Tom Brady.
Jones spent a decade playing for the division rival Atlanta Falcons before being traded to the Tennessee Titans, where he spent the 2021 season.
“I didn’t, I didn’t think that,” Jones said, according to ESPN’s Jenna Laine. “But that’s the past. I’m here now. I’m looking forward, I’m not looking backwards. It’s a great opportunity for me to be a part of something special in the Buccaneer family. Just looking forward to getting to work.”
Jones cited the opportunity to win a championship as a factor in his decision making process.
“Why we got to bring up old stuff? He did it. He did it. He did it,” Jones joked before conveying his excitement. “It’s just a surreal moment. It’s amazing. I’m ready to go, though. At the end of the day, it’s all about accountability. I have to be accountable for him, the team, everybody, right? With all that said and done, I’ve still got to come to work. I still have to put the work in.
“You can say, ‘Oh yeah, Julio’s with the Bucs, we got Mike [Evans], we got Tom,’ but we’ve all got to put the work in. Nobody’s going to give us anything. So we’ve just got to come out here and work each and every day. That’s all it’s about.”
Jones said he spoke with Brady a few times, before complimenting the legendary quarterback.
“I talked to him, I talked to Tom several times. It wasn’t really about coming to Tampa. We were just communicating, feeling each other out, I guess. It was probably a tactic,” he joked, alluding to the Patriots’ and Brady’s penchant for operating in secrecy. “But I’m here now.”
“Tom’s a great guy, man — who you want to be leading your ballclub, who you want to play for.”
Jones said he is “100% healthy” and “feels amazing” following a season derailed by injury.
Jones was limited to 10 games and one playoff game last season, registering a career-low 434 receiving yards and 1 touchdown.
“For me, I’m never frustrated. It’s all about learning curves, right? So I always learn through everything I go through in life, because I control me,” Jones said. “I control my emotions. I control everything. I don’t let someone else control who I am or how I view things.
“People might say, ‘OK, you wasn’t successful in this.’ But for me, I know what success is for me. I can’t let someone else judge who Julio is. But I did have some nicks and knacks here and there. I never look backwards. It’s all about the present. And for me right now, I feel great, I feel amazing. I’ve just got to stay that way. … Just come out here and be who I am — I don’t need to be anybody else but that.”