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Spadaro: Julio Jones here to help 'wherever the team needs me' 

Julio Jones
Julio Jones

There is always something beyond what is in front of you, and in the case of the Eagles' wide receiver corps, they went outside the box to add a veteran player to add depth and experience, a player they studied and believed could come in and help this team win football games.

So, that's why Julio Jones is here.

Executive Vice President/General Manager Howie Roseman and Head Coach Nick Sirianni studied tape on Jones from his 2022 season with Tampa Bay and determined that he still has "juice in his legs" entering the 13th season of his outstanding Pro Football Hall of Fame career and went out and reeled him in to provide depth to a banged-up group.

"The ability to run, the ability to get out of cuts, the ability to make plays, and all of those things was still good," Sirianni said. "You can look at the stats, you can do all those different things, but it's about putting the tape on and seeing what you see and what you think. Seeing him work out the other day, we were like, 'Yeah, he's still got a lot of pop in his legs,' and we're excited about that."

Jones has familiarity with the Eagles – specifically quarterback Jalen Hurts and wide receivers A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith – and that helped him accept the Eagles' offer. So did Sirianni's approach of keeping it fun and lively and engaging on a daily basis at the NovaCare Complex.

A seven-time Pro Bowl player and two-time first-team All-Pro, Jones feels a sense of starting over with the Eagles, even if this is his 13th season. He played 10 years in Atlanta, one in Tennessee, and one in Tampa Bay. Brown said he had other opportunities, but was drawn to Philadelphia for the organization and, yes, the fan base.

The players notice that the fans make a difference. So now we'll see how Jones factors in.

"The biggest thing for me is going out there and learning as much as I can right now," Jones said. "Wherever the team needs me to fill in at, I'm willing to do. I'm a veteran. I can move around (the offense), whatever the case may be."

Now, it's Philadelphia, a team with high aspirations and a passing game that still goes through, Sirianni said, wideouts Brown and Smith along with tight end Dallas Goedert.

"The role that he's playing, more of a supporting role rather than a highlighted role and we'll see how it continues to shape up," Sirianni said. "But we know that he still has the ability to make plays and we're going to need him to make plays."

That doesn't mean Jones feels like he's taking a backseat to anyone once he's on the field. He still has the "dominating" approach the great ones have, and he bristled when a reporter asked him, "How much he had left?"

"Have left?" he said. "Keep watching. I'm not going to make any expectations, but keep watching and I can show you. We'll revisit this question.

"This is a very balanced offense. Explosive, whether it's the running game or the passing game. All the way around. Offensive line looks amazing. There's no weak point on the offense. But we still have to be accountable each and every week and do our jobs."

Jones has known Hurts since the latter played at the University of Alabama, so the two have a long off-field relationship. The hope is that they connect on the field quickly, and Hurts respects what Jones has done in his remarkable career – Smith said that Jones is the best receiver to come out of Alabama – and knows the level of professionalism he adds to an already-seasoned Eagles locker room.

"He's a guy that's coming in and he's about his craft," Hurts said. "Obviously, I know where he comes from and knowing where our background resides, he has that mentality. He's a future Hall of Famer and he's as good as it gets.

"He's coming in with a great mentality and a great person to add to this team."

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