How does Julio Jones fit into Titans' receiving corps?

Richard Morin
USA TODAY Sports Plus

Julio Jones understands the concerns, but he doesn't share them.

Granted, he hears the talk about how fewer targets will be coming his way. After a decade of No. 1 receiver performances with the Atlanta Falcons, it's a good bet Jones' numbers will take a dive in a Tennessee Titans offense he now shares with Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Brown and rushing champion Derrick Henry.

But Jones doesn't seem to care. 

"At the end of the day we want to create a winning culture," Jones told reporters during OTAs in June. "My whole career I've never been a stat guy. I'm a team guy."

Jones, 32, is already a seven-time Pro Bowler, an All-Pro on two occasions, and a member of the Hall of Fame's All-2010s team. He's averaged over 100 yards per game in five separate seasons.

"It's exciting to have him in here," Titans head coach Mike Vrabel told reporters in June. "He's run a lot of routes, caught a lot of passes and been a very productive player."

New Tennessee Titans wide receiver Julio Jones during a team minicamp practice in June.

Vrabel acknowledged the challenge of fitting Jones into the Titans' system, giving quarterback Ryan Tannehill a relative embarrassment of riches when it comes to offensive weapons.

Vrabel, however, is focused on the veteran's attitude.

"He's a big target with strong hands," Vrabel said. "I've really enjoyed his attitude and the discussions I've had with him. His impact can help a lot of people. Ultimately we're just trying to figure out where he fits in and where he can best acclimate into our system.

"I think it gives a lot of versatility to where we line guys up and who's in the game in certain situations."

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The concerns, however, don't stop at Jones' volume of touches.

Jones has already played 10 seasons in the NFL as a featured receiver and comes with a history of injuries, including a nagging hamstring ailment that limited him to just nine games in 2020.

How much can Jones actually contribute to the Titans in 2021?

"I believe in me," Jones said. "I know what I have in the tank. This game don't change for me. I'm still fast and still strong."

When healthy and between the lines, Jones will have much to prove if he hopes to get comparable targets to Brown.

"For us to be a 1-2 punch or a 1-1 punch, however you want to look at it ... he has it all," Jones said. "We've been hanging out. We always talked on the phone, so now being able to play with him is great."

Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill throws during a June practice.

Jones said he's also been out to dinner with Tannehill. Vrabel characterized the QB-receiver relationship as "the most important" for Jones among his new teammates.

"It's going to be a learning process on and off the field," Tannehill told reporters during OTAs. "Just figuring out how we work together and getting on the same page. Excited for that, looking forward to the work it's going to take for Sundays in the fall."

For Tannehill, the options seem endless. Slot pass to Brown? Pitch to Henry? Deep ball to Jones?

It'll be a challenge charged to Vrabel and Co. to get the most out of the available personnel.

"Right now there's a lot of people we'd like to give the football to," Vrabel said, "but they only give us one football."