As a sixth-round pick from LSU in 2018, former Falcons receiver Russell Gage spent three years with Julio Jones. They’re now together again in Tampa Bay.
So what does Gage see in his old teammate?
“We haven’t missed a step,” Gage told reporters on Friday. “It’s always great to have Julio on the team. That’s my boy. I remember coming in as a rookie in Atlanta and he taught me so much. I learned so much from him. Just to be here now at this time in my career with him, it’s great. I’m excited. I’m ready to get me a ring for sure.”
What about the notion that Jones’s best days are long behind him? He had a career law in catches, yards, and touchdowns in 2021 with the Titans?
“First off, injuries will hold anybody back, I believe,” Gage said. “You could be the greatest ever, but if you’re hurt, you’re going to go down a notch. You see him out here. When he is healthy, he can roll. He is the same old Julio to me. He’s fast [and] he hasn’t missed a beat. That’s everyone’s number one thing in the NFL is staying healthy. A healthy Julio is a problematic Julio, the way I put it.”
The Buccaneers’ receivers will be problematic, with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Gage, and Jones as the top four options. If Jones is indeed the same guy he was as recently as 2019, when he had 99 catches for 1,394 yards.