Julio Jones got his wish from the Atlanta Falcons, and has been dealt to the Tennessee Titans. His new team is certainly closer to contention, and may be more explosive on offense, but there’s no guarantee that means that Julio’s volume will improve or even stay the same.
The Titans offense is built around running back Derrick Henry, the NFL’s biggest bruiser. After a 1,540 yard season in 2019, he took a leap to 2,027 yards in 2020, putting himself in MVP conversations.
The team also has a quality passing attack, with the emergence of quarterback Ryan Tannehill over the last few years, and wide receiver A.J. Brown, one of the NFL’s most promising young weapons. Tannehill tossed for 3,819 yards, 33 touchdowns, and seven interceptions last season, while Brown put up his second straight 1,000+ yard season, going for 70/1,075/11.
If Julio Jones is healthy, he and Brown should be one of the most fierce wide receiver duos in football. The Titans may look to balance out their attack a bit, but there’s no guarantee that Jones is going to get the target load he’s accustomed to. For him, that’s a-okay if the team is winning.
"My whole career, I've never been a stat guy. I'm a team guy. Whatever they need from me I'm going to do, and I will enjoy playing my role at a high level," Julio Jones. #Titans https://t.co/SeBrhGpMCP
— TURRON DAVENPORT (@TDavenport_NFL) June 10, 2021
“At the end of the day, you want to create a winning culture. However you need to do it, you have to get the job done,” Julio said, when asked about the possibility of his volume dropping during a Zoom media session, per ESPN.
“My whole career, I’ve never been a stat guy. I’m a team guy. Whatever they need from me I’m going to do, and I will enjoy playing my role at a high level.”
“In my discussion with Julio, his No. 1 goal wasn’t about targets. His goal is to win, whether it takes nine targets, two targets or none. That’s the mindset that he has and the mindset that we want here,” Robinson said.
Added coach Mike Vrabel, “We have expectations here, and we’re going to treat any player the same way they treat the team. That’s no different for Julio or for Racey McMath. That’s what we believe in. We try to make our expectations here clear and be direct with the players and get them to understand the way that we do things.”
From 2012-2019, Julio Jones had at least 128 targets in all but one season, 2013 when he only played in five games. He has three 100 reception seasons (and another 99 reception season) under his belt, and was at 1,198 or more yards in 2012 and every year from 2014-19. He may not be a stat guy, but stats have found him.
Now, teams will have to “pick their poison” with the Tennessee Titans offense like never before. That is a scary notion.