NASHVILLE – Week 1 did not go as expected for Julio Jones. His Tennessee Titans debut was a dud last Sunday.
All the more reason to look forward to Week 2.
“This week, for me, I just want to get the bad taste out of my mouth,” Jones said Friday. “Because I didn’t put the best version of myself out there on film. But I can’t be anxious. I’ve been doing this for a long time. I can’t be anxious. It’s a process. I’ve just got to work towards that and the sooner it comes, it comes.”
A seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver, Jones arrived from Atlanta via trade during the offseason, with the Titans surrendering a 2022 second-round draft pick and 2023 fourth-round pick as part of the package.
The expectation was – and is – that the 32-year-old would form a deadly duo with wide receiver A.J. Brown, the pair made all the more effective because of Derrick Henry and the running game.
But things didn’t go well for Jones – nor any other part of the Titans’ offense – against the Cardinals. Jones caught three of six targets for just 29 yards, with no reception of more than 10 yards. One Ryan Tannehill pass tipped off his fingers and resulted in an Arizona interception. In addition, he committed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that turned a Titans third-and-one situation into third-and-16.
“It was just, it was a little rough for me for sure, starting out last week,” Jones said. “But last week is last week.
“You want to learn from the previous weeks. But for me it’s coming out here each and every day, attacking each and every day, and just working on my ability to get in and out of breaks, work on my conditioning, finishing plays, things like that.”
It’s understandable that Week 1 – at the least – would serve as an adjustment process for Jones, who spent his previous 10 seasons in Atlanta catching passes from quarterback Matt Ryan. Jones also missed just over three weeks of training camp after suffering an awkward full during practice, limiting the chemistry-building process for Jones and Tannehill.
“For me, every opportunity we have coming out here and running full-speed routes, just practicing,” Jones said of how he hopes to improve his connection with Tannehill. “At the end of the day, that’s it. No excuses, things like that. I just feel like the more we continue to keep working with one another, the better we’ll be.”
Have practices this week helped in that regard?
“Each and every day, just working on it,” Jones said. “It’s experience, right? You got to go through it. You got to be in it, got to do it. That’s all it is for me.”