Julio Jones’ debut with the Tennessee Titans on Sunday was certainly less than ideal.
The veteran receiver hauled in just three catches for 29 yards in a 38-13 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, but it wasn’t his production, or lack thereof, that irked head coach Mike Vrabel the most.
Instead, it was a costly and avoidable unnecessary roughness penalty Jones committed in the first quarter when he shoved a Cardinals player after a Derrick Henry run that would have set up a third-and-1 for the Titans.
Vrabel essentially called out Jones while meeting with reporters on Monday.
“That’s absolutely nothing we coach or teach,” Vrabel said. “So that would fall under the category of doing dumb s—t that hurts the team. Right there in bold letters.”
The Titans were already down 10-0 at the time of the penalty and the next play was an incomplete pass which forced them to punt from their own 19.
It is likely more frustrating due to the fact that Jones is supposed to be looked upon as a veteran leader of the team after Tennessee traded to acquire him from the Atlanta Falcons earlier this year.
Expectations are rather high for the Titans this season but avoidable mistakes like that against good teams certainly do not help. Vrabel will look to make sure the team cleans it up ahead of next Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks.