NASHVILLE – Julio Jones is a Titan.
It really became real on Thursday, when the seven-time Pro Bowler practiced with the Titans for the first time.
In his first media availability since the trade, Jones first thanked the city of Atlanta, and the Falcons.
Then, he turned the page to his next chapter.
"Being here with the Titans, I love it," Jones said. "I am very excited to be a part of this organization. Just the team camaraderie, the whole atmosphere and everything here, it just feels like when I was in college at the University of Alabama. It is amazing here."
Jones also had a message for those who think he might be near the end.
"At the end of the day, I believe in me," Jones said. "I know what I have in the tank. And, we are talking about age, 32. I'm young. In football you can say it's old, but you either do it or you don't. This game don't change for me – I am still fast, I am still strong. I'll be ready to go.
"For those questioning my health and things like that: Stay tuned."
Jones, acquired from the Falcons in a trade over the weekend, looked good at practice.
Outfitted in uniform No.2, and wearing red cleats, he gave Titans GM Jon Robinson a big hug at the start of practice, and then went to work.
On the first play of a jog-through, Jones snatched a ball across the middle of the field in stride. He later caught a deep ball from quarterback Ryan Tannehill at the conclusion of the period. Jones spent a lot of the day in conversations, and in drills.
"I had a great day today," Jones said. "And. I'm excited about being here."
The Titans are thrilled to have him.
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. In an injury-shortened 2020 season, Jones had 51 catches for 771 yards and three touchdowns in nine games. Jones said on Thursday he didn't take enough time to heal properly, and that's why he missed so many games.
Jones said he's already gone out to dinner with Tannehill, and the two sides are already building their relationship. The presence of running back Derrick Henry, his friend, creates a "pick your poison" dilemma for defenses.
With the Titans, Jones will join rising third-year receiver A.J. Brown, who was named a Pro Bowler in 2020 after his second straight 1,000-yard season. In two NFL seasons, Brown has 2,126 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns.
"I am very excited (to work with A.J.), to be a 1-2 punch or 1-1 punch, or however you want to look at it – he is definitely a No.1 receiver," Jones said of Brown. "He's definitely a dog, and he has that competitive nature in him. (And) I want to show him the little things I know from experience, being in the league. But he has it all. … To be able to play with him, it is going to be great."
The Titans also acquired former Rams receiver Josh Reynolds in free agency. In four NFL seasons with the Rams, Reynolds played in 64 games, with 24 starts. He worked in the slot and on the outside at receiver during his career, and he's caught 113 passes for 1,450 yards and nine touchdowns.
Reynolds on Thursday expressed excitement about playing alongside Jones.
During his media availability, Jones believes he's found a great fit.
"At the end of the day, Atlanta was amazing to me," Jones said. "Obviously, I'm with my new team now, and I am excited to be here, and that's that. I am just excited to be a part of this organization, and whatever they need me to do it, I'm willing to do it, and play my role at a high level.
"I'm in a new chapter of my life. I'm here, I'm in Nashville. I am excited to be here. This is where my focus is at, and I can't wait to get started."