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QB Ryan Tannehill, WR Julio Jones Work to Get On Same Page With Titans


NASHVILLE – Until Thursday, Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill had only viewed receiver Julio Jones from a distance.

Whether it was across the field as an opponent, or on television, Tannehill was impressed like everyone else as Jones earned seven Pro Bowls trips while making one play after the next.

And until this week, Tannehill perhaps wondered if he'd always be a Julio spectator.

"He's always done an amazing job of getting open," Tannehill said of Jones. "You see his explosiveness, and his ability to make plays downfield. Now, I am excited to see it in person, not from across the field, but wearing the same colors. It is going to be a lot of fun to work with him -- and get on the same page."

That process started this week at Saint Thomas Sports Park, when Jones practiced with Tannehill his new teammates for the first time since being traded over the weekend.

Tannehill threw passes to Jones in Thursday's OTA, and the two began building chemistry they hope will pay off this fall.

"Me and Ryan, we've done hung out already," Jones said. "We went out to dinner."

Jones, who played 10 seasons with quarterback Matt Ryan with the Falcons, wants to now get on the same page with Tannehill as quickly as possible.

Jones is confident it will happen.

"It's just talking, communication." Jones said. "I don't think it's going to take no time at all. He's a veteran player, I'm a veteran player. We've just got to go out there and it's just repetition at the end of the day, really. Just going out there and, you know, "This is where I want it at, can you put it here?" And, where he wants me at, can I get there?

"It's just us working together. At the end of the day, as long as we're on the same page, we're going to be successful."

A 6-foot-3, 220-pounder, Jones has 12,896 receiving yards and 60 touchdowns in his 10-year career, on 848 catches. He's caught over 100 passes in three of his seasons, and he had at least 80 catches and 1,300 yards in every year from 2014-19, with an average of 104 receptions for 1,565 yards during that time period.

Jones is Atlanta's all-time career leader in receptions (848), receiving yards (12,896) and 100-yard receiving games (58), and his 60 touchdown receptions rank second.

With an average of 95.5 receiving yards per game through 135 career games, Jones ranks first in NFL history, topping Calvin Johnson's previous record of 86.1 receiving yards per game. His 12,896 career receiving yards already place him 20th in league annals. Jones' 58 career 100-yard receiving games put him fourth all-time behind Jerry Rice (76), Randy Moss (64) and Marvin Harrison (59). Among all players in NFL history with at least 848 career catches, only Moss' 15.6-yard average ranks higher than Jones' average of 15.2 yards per reception.

Titans Coach Mike Vrabel said the work Jones and Tannehill are doing now is important moving ahead.

The Titans are scheduled to conduct a three-day minicamp next week before breaking for the offseason. Training camp will begin in late July.

"I think that's the most important relationship, if you're a receiver, is the one with the quarterback," Vrabel said. "(They) talk all the time. There's a play that gets installed, and you talk about man or zone, and you talk about spacing or running a route. But at the end of the day, if I'm a receiver, I'm going to talk about where the quarterback wants me to be, when he needs me to be there. That's my message to them, is to figure out quickly where the quarterback wants you to be, and get there. And if you get the ball, take advantage of your opportunity.

"The only way that (Jones and Tannehill) do that is by practicing, by meeting, by having conversations. It's no different than what we would have any of our quarterbacks or wide receivers do when they are coming in here probably for the first time."

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