Julio Jones And Father Time

August 1st, 2022

NFL’s senior citizens.

Speaking with a handful of Bucs players last week, Joe honestly doesn’t know who is more geeked, players or fans.

The news that Tampa Bay signed former All-Pro receiver Julio Jones genuinely had Julio’s new teammates stoked. So were Bucs fans. But Julio’s numbers the past few years are a major red flag that maybe Julio is out of gas.

Speaking on his podcast “GM Shuffle,” former coffee fetcher for Bill Walsh, Al Davis and Bill Belicheat, Michael Lombardi, wondered how the Bucs will use Julio.

Lombardi thinks Julio’s legs are shot. That’s bad news for skill position players. Lombardi concluded this because he’s not seeing Julio get separation on the outside over the past two years.

“When he hit 30, he lost his legs it looked to me,” Lombardi said. “Can he rekindle them back? I doubt it.”

Lombardi said a guy whose legs are done really shows as the season wears on. He used an example of when he was the general manager in Cleveland,he brought in running back Joe Morris, the former Giants legend. Lombardi loved Morris’s work ethic and his dedication to being a great teammate, but by the second half of the season Morris was a shell of himself. His legs were worn out.

“What [an older] player is going to look like at the end of July and August is not going to be what he looks like in December or January when you need him to play the best,” Lombardi said. “We signed Joe Morris when I was in Cleveland. And Joe Morris was the talk of our training camp in July and August. And by November, we didn’t even want him on the team anymore. His legs just couldn’t do it.

“And he was a great kid. He wanted to work hard and all of those things. The problem was, God, Father Time, unless you are Tom Brady, wins.”

After that one season in 1991 with the Browns, Morris never played in the NFL again. To be fair with the analogy, Joe will add that Morris missed the 1989 and 1990 seasons completely with an injury, so he was very damaged goods. Julio played 10 games last season and nine in 2020.

Lombardi said he would be very interested to see how Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich uses Julio. He added that using Julio inside is dicey because he has become so brittle and, again, Lombardi thinks Julio has lost it outside.

Joe fully understands everything Lombardi said. Only Brady seems immune from Father Time’s clutches.

But you know what, if Brady wanted Julio (and he did) Joe is going to guess Brady has a plan hatched on how to use him, and that Brady liked Julio’s 2021 film.

In Brady Joe trusts.

21 Responses to “Julio Jones And Father Time”

  1. Alexandre Nascimento Says:

    We all do!

  2. Ash Says:

    Nailed it joe

  3. Buc king Says:

    Honestly I think this is a over blown subject he wasn’t signed to be the guy… his veteran intelligence and 3rd down capabilities brings something that may counter balance the loss of gronks productions.i know we payed a nice coin for him but he’s a hof player and great depth for what Mike gives us God forbid he gets banged up.
    This 2nd guessing brady and our gm who I been calling his moves the last 2 years..I said he sign brady n ab back when you all claimed they had no more in the tank and washed up. I said no they just need a new environment..just like I called Lenny I did not see gronk coming or leaving though..I still feel like he will be back.
    Richard sherman I was wrong about..though he would of helped more..

  4. Goatfarmer Says:

    Homer’s dad will have just as much impact on the Bucs in 2022 as Julio Jones.

  5. Weston Says:

    If we are smart/lucky, he’s a playoff/insurance guy.

    Also, one hell of a decoy. Get him one nice catch early on, and the other team has to pay attention to him, even if he fakes it on every other play after.

  6. Crickett Baker Says:

    Eh, maybe Alex can pump some extra juice in Julio’s legs.

  7. WVBucsFan Says:

    Aqib Talib’s leg was shot and he made a comeback. Maybe Julio can too

  8. Bucschamp Says:

    We already knew he isn’t the same explosive player before we signed him. Bucs and Brady have a plan to utilize him based on his current status. His legs might not be the same but he is still big and smart and savvy enough to contribute. And these out going vets will do everything to get a ring.

  9. dmatt Says:

    Julio wasn’t brought in to be a young everyday legs of a mustang. He’s here to primarily bring experience and knowledge to the game for the young players. He’ll impact in multiple ways n Brady will game plan for that. However, he can also be used as a decoy, or if teams fill the same way Lombardi does about his so called shot legs, then go ahead n gamble n play him man to man with ur average Joe Blow corner. Red zone n crunch time =Julio. The best relief picture in the game.

  10. Kentucky Buc Says:

    Hamstring had everything to do with the last couple years for Julio. If it is truly healed you might be very surprised by what Julio has in the tank. A little TB12 method can’t hurt either.

  11. Buczilla Says:

    I trust Brady too. I’ve always felt that Julio was vastly overrated due to his sorry td #’s, but if he’s good enough for Brady, he’s good enough for me.

  12. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We brought Julio in to be our #4 or #5 receiver……in that role, I’m quite sure he’ll be adequate.

  13. Hail2dabucs Says:

    WVbucsfan , i don’t think Talib shot his own leg . That was plax B . In a new york nite club . Talib got into trouble for effin up someone that was messing up his sister . Oh wait , maybe after that he did shoot himself ? You got guys blowing off thier fingers , hurting old ladies ” cause he’s a f’kn soldier ” and throwing woman on beds loaded with fully automatic weapons and so on and so on . I can’t keep up

  14. 1#bucsfan Says:

    The great thing about signing Jones is he doesn’t have to be the #1 WR. You get him ME13, CG, Rudolph, Brate , gage in a nice rotation hopefully it can keep everyone fresh n healthy.

  15. Kalind Says:

    Rub a little TB12 on those legs and he’ll be fine. LFG

  16. Just Saying Says:

    Nobody has mentioned whether or not Julio can be a good teammate as a # 4 or 5. He’s been the man his whole life. Not everyone can take that reality gracefully. And for all those claiming red zone threat, he has never produced in the red zone. One 10 TD season for his career and that was a long time ago. Avg of 6 for his career and 3 two years ago and 1 last year. He’s not Gronk in the red zone

  17. D-Rok Says:

    If JJ’s legs lose some juice later in the season, he can still be used as a “basketball” player with his height and catch-radius. Maybe he won’t be as competitive on deeper routes due to lack of separation, but as our #3/#4, he will face lesser quality defenders, because we have Evans, Godwin, Gage, and others.

    The point I’m trying to make is even if his legs aren’t what they were, he can still be used as a decoy due to his pedigree. And if he surprises us all and is only 90% of his former self, then he’ll be a good pass-catcher this year.

    I like this signing because of the intrigue of what we MAY be getting. Only time will tell.

  18. Captain Oblivious Says:

    I don’t know about the Bucs signing Julio Jones. Reminds me of the Richard Sherman signing last year. Maybe Julio can run short routes and snatch jump balls away from the CB.

    Did the Bucs give JJ a physical before signing him? I wonder if he ran the 40.

  19. rrsrq Says:

    The difference, is technology, routines and the way guys take care of their bodies, including the NFLPA minimzing how players play, i.e. fines. He does not have to be the number one guy, hopefully and he is playing for a “ship”, I’m sure BL and TB goals are to have him ready for December football

  20. Kody Says:

    JJ should work in as a nice threat with Brady as QB and superstars Godwin and Evans drawing most of the defensive concern. Will make is easier for JJ to get open. Even if he’s just 3/4 as good as he once was, he’ll still prove a valuable asset.

  21. George Says:

    JJ has had hamstring issues the last two years . Limits his ability practice and the timing that goes with that .

    He is coming in healthy and with a limited role . I think he is going to create a lot of problems for opponents defense .

    The Joe Morris analogy is false . Morris had enormous amount of Rushing attempts and then he was injured for two years without playing . His career was over and the Browns were hoping for a miracle .

    JJ still has gas left in the tank