Julio Jones: ‘I’m on to a new chapter in my life’

Tennessee Titans wide receiver Julio Jones stretches during NFL football practice Thursday, June 10, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn.
Caption
Tennessee Titans wide receiver Julio Jones stretches during NFL football practice Thursday, June 10, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn.

Credit: AP Photo/George Walker IV

Here’s what former Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones had to say when met with the media on Thursday after his first practice with the Tennessee Titans:

On what’s it like joining a new team and what’s the reception been like in Nashville: “First off I just want to thank Atlanta. It was home for me for the last decade. The fan base, the Atlanta Falcons, the whole organization, without them, they gave me the opportunity to showcase my ability and what I can do and my absolute love for the game. Being here at the Titans, I love it. I’m very excited to be a part of this organization. Just the team camaraderie. Just the whole atmosphere and everything here, just feels like when I was in college at the University of Alabama. It’s amazing here. That’s where I’m at right now. Had a great day today. Just finished the workout. I’m excited about being here.”

On how he’s feeling health wise: “For me, at the end of the day I believe in me. I know what I have left in the tank. We’re talking about age, it’s 32. I’m young. In football you can say it’s old, but you either do it or you don’t. This game don’t change for me. I’m still fast. I’m still strong. To the games last year, I had an issue (grade 2 quad hamstring strain) where I didn’t take enough time to heal up properly, but you know, that was just my decision, going out there and just playing. No excuses, things like that. I’ll be ready to go. For those who are questioning my health and things like that, just stayed tuned.”

On if he will can adjusted to fewer targets with the Titans: “At the end of the day, you want to create a winning culture. However you need to do it to get the job done. My whole career, I’ve never been a stat guy. Previous years, everybody was always asking me what do you think you are going to do? What’s your prediction? Things like that. I’ve never been a stat guy. I’m a team guy. I’m just excited to be a part of the organization. Whatever they need from me to do, I’m willing to do it and play my role. Play it at high level.”

On his relationship with A.J. Brown and if he’s excited to work across from him: “Very excited for us to be a one-two punch or one-one punch, however you want to look at it. He’s definitely a number one receiver. He’s definitely a dog. Has that competitive nature in him. Just showing him little things that I know from experience, being in the league. He has it all. We’ve been hanging out even before this. When I was in Atlanta, he used to call me and things like that. We always talked on the phone. In the offseason we talked. So now just being able to play with him is going to be great. It’s going to be a very exciting season.”

On developing a relationship with quarterback Ryan Tannehill: “Me and Ryan, we have hung out already. We went out to dinner. Just talking and communication….but I don’t think it’s going to take (any) time at all. He’s a veteran player. I’m a veteran player. We have to just go out there and just (get in) repetitions at the end of the day. Just going out there, and just you know, this is where I want it at. Put it here. And where he wants me at, can I get there? It’s just us working together because at the end of the day as long as we are on the same page we’re going to be successful.”

On how he will fit in the offense and playing with Derrick Henry: “Defenses, you are really going to have to pick your poison. If you’re going to stay in the box and put nine in the box with a guy like Derrick Henry in the backfield, you’ve got to respect him. That’s when me and A.J. will go to work. Then if you only have eight in the box Derrick is going to work in the backfield. A great offensive line. Great scheme. But I mean, you are just going to have to pick your poison at the end of the day. But we are just going to go out there and play for one another.”

On his decision to move on from the Falcons and if he had any say so in where he would go: “At the end of the day, Atlanta was amazing to me. I’m obviously with my new team now, I’m excited to be here. That’s that as far as that situation. I loved it. The organization, my teammates, the fan base and everybody. I enjoyed my decade there. I’m on to a new chapter in my life. This is where my focus is at. I can’t wait to get started.”

On A.J. Brown recruiting him on social media: “That’s just who he is. Just a great guy. He’s going to be a great teammate as well. His respect that he has for me. In our previous conversations, even before how the trade came about….just us communicating and me helping him out and now just being under one roof, being on the same team with one another is just like part of a dream. What he don’t know, (is that) I love to play with him as well. It’s definitely mutual in that sense. It’s going to be exciting. We just have to put that work in at first.”

On how much investigation of the Titans did he do: “I didn’t do too much. I know guys on the team like Derrick and A.J. (Former Falcons wide receivers coach) Terry Robiskie was here. (Former Falcons wide receiver) Harry Douglas was here, things like that, so just knowing about the organization. You have to be here to understand the feeling here as far as the fan base. The way they treat you and it’s unconditional....You just feel like you can go out there and give your all no matter what happens they are going to be behind you. Instead of just going out there and making a mistake or if I do this, you know I’m the blame or shamed. It definitely has that college like atmosphere here. That’s what I love about it as well and just the culture of the team.”

On the change from the Falcons to the Titans: “At the end of the day, it’s football. It’s just like game-planning. You have to play certain teams a certain way. You are going to do things differently. You have to be ready on the fly. At the end of the day....you have to make the uncomfortable, comfortable to you. It’s just different situations. I feel like I can do any and everything. If it’s blocking or going out there and catching 10 or 12 balls or catching two or three balls. At the end of the day, it’s just going out there and just doing what you need to do for the team to be successful. I don’t look at it like my targets are going to go down or this is going to go down. None of us know how that is going to work out. It’s just speculation and everybody is looking at what they’ve done in the past and things like that. Who knows how people are going to play us now. Who knows anything. You just have to be ready for everything. For me, just being a professional at what I do is to be ready for everything as far as how I study, working out and being ready to go.”

On how it went from Falcons to life to wanting a trade: “Yeah, that’s me and the Falcons we have an agreement at the end of the day. We discussed everything. We just made the decision. It was just cut and dry. There was nothing toward football, it’s business. So, you just had to accept whatever happens, happens. Like I said, it was mutual agreement on it. We just split up.”

On if the firing of Dan Quinn was a factor in the process or was it a bunch of factors: “No, no. It (had) nothing to do with Dan Quinn or the firing of Dan Quinn or anything like that. It was just that, like I said, we came to an agreement. We made the decision and we are here now. I’m here in Nashville. I’m excited to be here. Expect big things from us just by our effort and the way we are going to play the game.”

On if there was any significance to picking jersey No. 2: “No, I just really picked it. Me and A.J. and (ex-Falcons running back Brian) Hill, we were at dinner pretty much just talking. (Brown) tried to give me 11. I don’t want it, it’s your number. So, I was just going to go with the the 2. Me, you and Derrick (Henry). (Ryan) Tannehill was 17, but the two, one plus one is two times 11 it’s 22. It’s kind of like, you know what I mean, you’re going to have to deal with us. It’s all four of us actually. But you’re going to have to deal with the whole offense. It takes all 11 guys. Just something to keep the guys going. Just have fun with it. Because at the end of the day, it’s our job, but want to have fun with it.”

The Bow Tie Chronicles

For more content about The Atlanta Falcons

Follow me on Twitter @DOrlandoAJC

On Facebook at Atlanta Falcons News Now

Atlanta Falcons coverage on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Falcons’ 2021 schedule features trip to London, January trip to Buffalo