Stat corner: A look at Bucs wide receivers Russell Gage and Julio Jones

FLOWERY BRANCH -- Former Falcons wide receivers Russell Gage, who left in free agency, and Julio Jones, who was traded to Tennessee in 2021, are part of Tampa Bay’s wide receiving corps.

Gage signed a three-year, $30 million deal over the offseason and was recruited by Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady. He has caught 21 of 25 targets for 152 yards and a touchdown.

Gage was busy in the 14-12 loss to Green Bay on Sunday, as he caught 12 of 13 targets for 87 yards and a touchdown.

Jones, who signed a one-year, $6 million contract after one season in Tennessee, played in Week 1 and then missed two games with a knee injury. He played while hurt last week. He has caught 4 of 7 targets for 76 yards.

They will face their former team when the Falcons and Bucs meet at 1 p.m. Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.

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Gage has noticed one thing about the Falcons since he left.

“They are wearing the black uniforms more,” Gage told the Tampa-area media Wednesday.

Gage said the Falcons tried to match his offer from the Bucs, but believes the negotiations became too pricey for the salary-cap strapped franchise.

“At one point in time, yeah,” Gage said. “I think it was. I mean it became a little you know, undeniable.”

Gage had a scouting report on the Falcons’ defense for his new teammates.

“I mean, honestly, the defense looks pretty similar,” Gage said. “I know (coordinator Dean Pees). He mixes a lot of coverage up. He plays a lot of different coverages. He’ll run a linebacker out there at corner and still play Cover-2.

“I know him, and he does all kinds of things like that. Nothing has really changed too much. But there’s definitely ways to attack.”

He also has looked at the Falcons’ reconfigured offense.

“With (quarterback Marcus) Mariota, they want to get him out of the pocket, and things like that,” Gage said.

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Atlanta Falcons 2022 NFL schedule

Sept. 11: Saints 27, Falcons 26

Sept. 18: Rams 31, Falcons 27

Sept. 25 Falcons 27, Seahawks 23

Oct. 2 Falcons 23, Browns 20

Oct. 9 at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.

Oct. 16 vs. San Francisco, 1 p.m.

Oct. 23 at Cincinnati, 1 p.m.

Oct. 30 vs. Carolina, 1 p.m.

Nov. 6 vs. Los Angeles Chargers, 1 p.m.

Nov. 10 at Carolina, 8:15 p.m.

Nov. 20 vs. Chicago, 1 p.m.

Nov. 27 at Washington, 1 p.m.

Dec. 4 vs. Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.


Dec. 18 at New Orleans, TBD

Dec. 24 at Baltimore, 1 p.m.

Jan. 1 vs. Arizona, 1 p.m.

Jan. 8 vs. Tampa Bay, TBD