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Bucs WR Julio Jones picking up offense 'fairly quickly'

Julio Jones joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers just over two weeks ago and is getting up to speed on the new offense.

"Everything's coming to me," Jones said Thursday, via the Tampa Bay Times. "The game of football, you just don't want to have to go out there and think. You want it to become second nature to you. But I'm picking it up fairly quickly, and it's been good."

Jones took a veteran's day off Thursday, observing joint practice with Miami in a bucket hat.

The seven-time Pro Bowl receiver joins a Bucs receiver corps that includes Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Russell Gage. While it's an embarrassment of riches, Tampa is already dealing with injuries. Gage came up with a leg injury this week, and Godwin continues to rehab from a torn ACL.

Tom Brady's mid-camp sabbatical makes developing chemistry with Jones more difficult, but given their pedigrees, it's nothing that can't be overcome.

Even in limited time in Tampa, Jones has already shown off his playmaking ability during practices.

"He's been more than I expected, to be honest," general manager Jason Licht told WDAE on Thursday.

After six straight Pro Bowls, Jones' past two seasons have been derailed by injury. He played just nine games in 2020, his final year in Atlanta. Last year in Tennessee, the wideout played 10 games and earned career-lows in catches (31), receiving yards (434) and touchdowns (1).

The 33-year-old said the injuries have taught him patience.

"As far as patience-wise, just going out there like, 60-70 percent and just feeling like you can go out there and compete, I was doing that in the past," Jones said. "But now I'm just staying ahead of it. Just getting the treatment, the proper treatment, the proper rest, things like that."

If Jones finds the fountain of youth in Tampa, the Bucs' passing game will be the most dangerous in the NFL. Health will be the main factor, but so far, so good.

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