Julio Jones Says It Was 'Surreal Moment' to Join Tom Brady, Buccaneers

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJuly 27, 2022

HOUSTON, TEXAS - JANUARY 09: Julio Jones #2 of the Tennessee Titans warms up against the Houston Texans prior to an NFL game at NRG Stadium on January 09, 2022 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Seven-time Pro Bowler Julio Jones is a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and he will join forces with quarterback Tom Brady and an uber-talented offense that includes fellow wideouts Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.

At training camp Wednesday, Jones spoke with reporters (h/t ESPN's Jenna Laine) about joining an ex-NFC South rival in the Bucs after playing for the Atlanta Falcons from 2011-20:

"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."

The union with Brady also conjures up memories of Super Bowl LI, when Brady's New England Patriots overcame a 28-3 deficit to defeat Jones' Falcons 34-28 in overtime.

"Why we got to bring up old stuff? He did it. He did it. He did it," Jones joked.

The Bucs have lost tight end Rob Gronkowski to retirement, but they added a pair of ex-Falcons in Jones and Russell Gage. Tampa Bay arguably has the deepest wide receiver core in football, and that can only help as the Super Bowl LV champion looks for a return trip to the big game.

Injuries curtailed Jones' last two seasons. In 2021, he caught 31 passes for 434 yards and one touchdown in 10 games. The year prior, he caught 51 passes for 771 and three scores in nine games.

He should be in line for a more productive season, especially with the team sporting such a talented offense.

As Jones said, though, he and the Bucs have to put the work in, and that starts now with training camp underway. Tampa Bay will open the regular season Sept. 11 at the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football.