If there is one player on the Buccaneers that you have to build around, it’s Tom Brady. The team is showing this with Julio Jones.
There is a major saving grace for the Buccaneers after the first few weeks that isn’t Tom Brady playing at one of the highest levels in the league (even though he is): none of these games matter.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers did exactly what they needed to do through the first five weeks. Losses to the Packers and the Chiefs were to be expected. The wins versus the Cowboys, Saints, and Falcons were more of the same.
This was always the main goal for the Bucs: play the good teams close, but the only thing that matters is playing the best football possible at the end of the season. This goal is still alive.
The offense hasn’t been all that for Tom Brady and the rest of the team just yet, but it is also fair to recognize that rampant injuries have slowed the whole process down.
No player shows this better than Julio Jones.
Jones has played very few reps for Tampa, yet he shines when he does. Some fans might wonder why the Bucs don’t use their star receiver more, but Todd Bowles has the right idea:
Tom Brady and the Buccaneers don’t need Jones right now. The defense is doing well to hold opposing offenses to very few points, and players like Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are doing well with shouldering the load.
Leaving Jones out for now to use him latter in the season is a perfect idea. The Bucs don’t need a star receiver to dominate some of the bad teams that are coming up, they just need the players that are healthy to play up to their potential.
Every bit of that is on the table as a possible outcome, and hopefully we don’t get to the end of the season again with Brady playing lights out but not having anyone to throw to.
If Julio Jones is healthy for the end of the season, every bit of this decision was right.
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