Is Ronald Jones The Key?

April 30th, 2018

Class key.

Joe is noticing a very weird pattern coming from the self-proclaimed NFL sophists scattered around the country (and in Irish dorms).

They’re chirping at Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht for drafting defensive tackle Vita Vea. It’s not so much that they think Vea won’t be a good player, but they nitpick the selection because these same folks think Vea won’t rush the passer.

Take Frank Schwab of Yahoo! Sports for example. He gave the Bucs a “C” grade in the draft.

Big Vita Vea completed Tampa’s overhaul on the defensive line, though it’s hard to see Vea having much of an impact on passing downs.

Unless Joe is missing something, when is the last time a defensive tackle was drafted solely because of his pass-rushing ability? Hell, Bucs stud Gerald McCoy has been one of the best defensive tackles in the game at bringing down quarterbacks and GMC would be hard-pressed to stay employed if it was up to Bucs fans because so many want to run him out of town for his lack of sacks.

It’s unreal.

Teams draft defensive ends to rush the quarterback in the 21st century, not tackles.

In the same column, Schwab believes Jones is the key to the draft. And Joe doesn’t disagree. That’s why Joe was screaming for a running back over the weekend.

A strong running back may just be the final piece to an offensive puzzle that, on paper, could absolutely ring up points at will. Again, on paper.

Plus, if the Bucs mount a solid running game behind Jones, not only do they keep the ball away from the opposition, they also play keep-away from their own defense.

The less the Bucs defense (NFL-worst in 2017) is on the field, the better.

35 Responses to “Is Ronald Jones The Key?”

  1. Licht’s Out Says:

    A firm yet fair assessment…I get the feeling we will be watching Tyson Alualu 2 : Electric Boogaloo. I also believe there were better corners on the board than the 2 taken in the 2nd round. I’d love to be wrong…15 years of mostly garbage has made me a cynic.

  2. Trench War Says:

    RoJo behind our revamped o-line ….maybe thing of beauty!

  3. Jgiles87 Says:

    Bucs signed udfa Shaun Wilson rb from Duke what do you think joe.

  4. Alaskan Abdominal Snowman Says:

    We already had a fantastic offense last year. Our issue was scoring points. It killed me to watch us drive the field pretty darn consistently, only to have a penalty, incompletion, turnover, or poor play calling.
    Problem was we had no threat of a run and were too predictable inside the 20. Bring in Jensen and now I see huge holes being opened on the inside and Jones II bursting through and burning everyone to the outside.
    This guy added to our offense could be electric. If he gets the playing time and stays healthy he has ROTY potential. I am not crowning him just saying he is coming to a great situation and is a home run threat on any play.

  5. Stanglassman Says:

    Disappointed the Bucs missed out on so many good UFA Rbs. You would think they would have signed FSU Rb Ryan Green. We were told Jason fell in love with the guy at their Proday. Maybe he didn’t impress the coaches at the local workout. The Bucs need more depth at Rb. List of other good players they missed out on in UFAs.
    1. Josh Adams, Notre Dame (UPDATE: Signed with Philadelphia)
    2. Martez Carter, Grambling
    3. Darrel Williams, LSU (UPDATE: Signed with Kansas City)
    4. Akrum Wadley, Iowa
    5. Roc Thomas, Jacksonville State

  6. lurker Says:

    not all think it’s bad.

    from todd mcshay
    part of what he had to say:

    “And this ultimately comes down to whether you’d rather have a player like Minkah Fitzpatrick or Vea, Carlton Davis, M.J. Stewart and Jordan Whitehead. Given Tampa Bay’s need for secondary help, I’d definitely choose the latter. Tampa Bay’s move down from No. 7 to No. 12 is one of the most underrated moves in this year’s draft.”

  7. Joe Says:

    Bucs signed udfa Shaun Wilson rb from Duke what do you think joe.

    Can’t say have ever seen him play.

  8. Bucco bruce Says:

    C wtf,haters that know squat about our Buccaneers or drafting! We’re going to pull a New Orleans Saints this year Rookie of the Year defense Vita vea offence Rookie of the Year Ronald Jones II.Tampaaaaaaaa!

  9. Oxycondoms Says:

    It amazes me that you can get potential gamechanging rb in 2nd rd. I know it’s nothing knew but I don’t get it

  10. Oxycondoms Says:

    That being said bucs cut it close

  11. XpfcWintergreen2 Says:

    This offseason shows that the Bucs’ “brain trust” from the Glazers on down though GM, coaches, scouts, sanitation engineers and word technicians have done their jobs. There seems to have been some kind of “self” evaluation by the Buccaneers since the end of the season in December. Something seems a little different this year.

    Do you suppose we will see those changes reflected in the upcoming season? Do you suppose that the “tougher” schedule will result in the Bucs going from the bottom to the top in the NFC South this year? Wouldn’t it be funny if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers found themselves, unexpectedly, in the NFC championship game trying to make it to the “Big Dance”?


    I guess it’s back to reality. I guess I got carried away by my Fantasy Football game.

    Who was that oldtimer who used to say “That’s why they play the games.” frequently. I think he has retired also.

    Next big fun, training camp.
    Go Bucs!!!

  12. Bucco bruce Says:

    Gmc will finally get what he deserves, double digit sacks!I truly believe Smitty’s d will be top 15 and start rolling in December and january.get ready Tampaaaaa

  13. Duke Says:


    If the criticism is the Bucs spent a first round pick on a player who is mainly used to stuff the run at the los vs a player who has an effect on the passing game ie D end, safety or corner then there’s a great disparity in value. The fact that the NFL is a passing league now there’s more value on players who are able to counter the pass instead of the run. If a d tackle has a negible effect on the passing game then He’s not as valuable in the 1st RD as a player who is able to do so. I don’t think it’s controversial to say that about the team’s pick.

  14. 1sparkybuc Says:

    GMC demands double teams. So does Vita. JPP and Curry should do well. I believe Stevie T will also make an impact. Not crowning them league champions, but the Bucs are going to be fun to watch. We have never had a great offense AND a great defense. I believe we are close. Great offseason so far, and it’s not over. Go Bucs.

  15. Defense Rules Says:

    Not sure which one is my favorite this morning …

    @Joe … “The less the Bucs defense (NFL-worst in 2017) is on the field, the better.”

    @Alaskan Abdominal Snowman … “We already had a fantastic offense last year. Our issue was scoring points.”

    Now THAT’S why I love JBF. Joe refuses to let go of the bone (POINTS ALLOWED is a much more important criteria for NFL-worst Joe, but you’ve heard that song sung many times before). And Alaskan, a team that can’t score doesn’t have a ‘fantastic offense’ (the words ‘fantastic offense’ and ‘can’t score’ don’t belong in the same sentence; what we had last season was a team that was good at motoring up-and-down the field but had an aversion to crossing the goal line). Our Bucs’ team averaged LESS THAN 30 minutes time-of-possession last year.

    Fortunately we’ve made some improvements on BOTH sides of the ball this off-season, and improved some talent levels. Of course, so have other teams. Now we get to see how well this group of coaches can mold this new-found talent into a competitive T-E-A-M that actually WINS football games. Still ‘cautiously optimistic’ …

  16. Bucsfanman Says:

    Agreed on the importance of the run game, Joe. The less the defense is on the field, the better.

  17. BucHead5588 Says:

    Idk how people say there were better corners on the board when we drafted M.J. an Carlton don’t you think those 2 were rated the highest on the Bucs board that’s why they drafted them I mean don’t be salty because it’s not the players you wanted them to draft plus they haven’t even played a down yet don’t you think we should give them a chance still I’m just saying don’t be salty cuz they didn’t draft the players you might have wanted this could turn out to be one of Jason’s best draft I think every player in this draft has a pretty good chance to make the team

  18. AKick'nTheBucNuts Says:

    This is a good sign.

    Let’m chirp.

    All the showers of love last year from them, and what did it get us?

    Should give the Bucs an “Us against them” attitude.

  19. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The key to the draft was the extra picks…..strength in numbers……imagine James at 7 and Jones in the second….and then on to our 4th?

    Totally different draft with Stewart & Davis added.

  20. Rrsrq Says:

    Here’s the thing, we talk about a division with Ryan, Newton and Brees but we also have a division with Ingram and Kamara, Cam and McCaffrey, and Freeman and Coleman. Just as important as it is to deal with the QB and receivers, the NFC south has stud running backs as well, Vea will help along with Beau

  21. passthebuc Says:

    Like the song says

    “you can’t please everybody so you got to please yourself”

  22. Wombat Says:

    TBF, you can’t be rational on this board, go away haha

  23. Capt.Tim Says:

    Haloti Ngata
    6’4”, 345 #. 5 time all pro. averages 2.6 sacks per year.
    Drafted by Eagles, now plays for Philly

    Thats who we just drafted. Haloti had a couple years with 5 sacks, but ussually has between 1-3. He isnt a sack master
    But he absolutely controls the line of scrimmage. Always ties up Two men. He is an absolute wall, and Leaves a RB no where to go.
    5 time all pro.

    Vita will be the same guy. Huge motor, amazing agility, and core strength is an anonoly. He makes a defense one dimensional. Anyone who thinks that todays game is all passing- just look at the Bucs last year. With Martin flaying away, the Bucs offense was impotent. It really killed our ability to score in the red zone, even with all of our weapons.

    Vita wont be a sack master. Hes a nose tackle, he isnt supposed to be.
    But he will Haloti Nagata
    And that is one fantastic addition to this team

  24. Pickgrin Says:

    ROJO got some get up and GO…

    Have to admit I was focused on other backs pre-draft – but in taking a closer look at Jones now that he’s a Buccaneer – man – he is pretty electric when he breaks into the open. 4.65 my a$$… Dude runs more like a 4.45 on the football field with defenders chasing (and not catching) him.

    Perhaps most impressive is Jones’ cutting/slashing ability.

    He’s got good vision along with anticipation first of all which is important.

    When he plants that foot to make a cut – Jones just explodes in the other direction – every time. He is soooo fast coming out of those cuts and direction changes. And not just on one cuts either. He can change directions 2 or 3 times within a half dozen steps and seemingly lose no speed at all. Pretty impressive in that respect.

    ROJO is gonna create some big plays for the Buccaneers offense. I can envision that already before he’s ever played a down. OLine will open up some nice holes to spring him into the 2nd level untouched and Jones will do the rest.

    FIRE THE CANNONS!!!! Touchdown Tampa Bay!!

  25. OneBucPerson Says:

    I’m calling it now, RoJo is gonna be OROY.

  26. grafikdetail Says:

    i believe i read here that more & more teams prefer pressure up the middle & are getting DTs that can collapse/push the middle of the pocket and make pocket passers like Brees & Ryan uncomfortable…

  27. Ryan T. Says:

    “Self-proclaimed NFL sophists?”

    Is Joe taking a creative writing course, or was “sophist” today’s word in the word-of-the-day calendar at Joe HQ?

  28. Joe Says:

    Is Joe taking a creative writing course, or was “sophist” today’s word in the word-of-the-day calendar at Joe HQ?

    Joe is in a Socrates mood today. 🙂

  29. martinni Says:

    Just a few opinions, I do believe ROJO was a great pick and will help us score points. However other than an obvious improvement in Barber’s (last man standing) play I agree I would like to see some more back-up fire power from the RB’s. It took me a few hours to wrap my mind around Vita, but then I realized he was the #1 DT in the draft and I can only imagine what Breeze, Ryan, and Newton think about being hit by a 350 lb. truck several times a game must feel. Finally a well revamped D-line and a potentially improved O-line should account for a lot negatives from 2017.

  30. Jolly Bucs Fan Says:

    It certainly is a passing league, but I think people are underestimating the impact an effective running game has on the passing game.

    Just look at the 2 different stories of Saints games in 2016.

    In Tampa, we stuffed the run and bottled up breeze. In NO, the saints established the run game and then Brees ripped us to shreds.

    Plus, I think Vita’s ability to rush the passer is underrated

  31. Crabberbill Says:

    Hey Jason, Have you must been reading my post here about Vita Vea? I’ve been talking about him for months !! I wanted to take him at #7 and being able to trade back and still get him at #12 and get 2 second round picks was AWESOME!! I don’t care what any of these so called experts say, you did a fantastic draft !! I heard Gerald has been talking about Vita too since the combine? He wants to learn from the best Gerald so teach him well !!! Go BUCS !!!

  32. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    Agree about ROJO. The more I watched his highlights I thought how did he drop this far?

    I think playing on the West Coast hurts some of these guys in terms of pub and his QB was the guy getting all the pub on the Trojans anyway.

    Perhaps people thought he’s a tweener…not small..but not a 225 lb bruiser either.
    But I notice he runs hard and delivers a larger blow than his 200 lbs might indicate.

    But the speed and the ability not just to cut but to shift gears and change speeds inside the hole before he explodes on a TD run.

    I think ROJO is going to give our WR’s a chance to shine with downfield blocking…especially ME13 and OJ.

  33. Kobe Faker Says:

    1st and 2nd down into the gut with 199lber

    215 kamara nor 216 kareem hunt he is not

    199er build implys easy to bring down. Dont see him explode out of initial arm tackles of nfl defenders

    No worries. Peyton barber will be a stud this year

  34. Pickgrin Says:

    Jones is listed at 5’11” – 205 lbs – so he could probably get up to 210-215 at that height without losing much or any speed if done correctly.

    SPBF – I had the same thought about Jones giving our receivers more opportunities to display their blocking skills downfield. ME, Howard and Godwin are all excellent downfield blockers that can help turn a nice play by the Oline into an “explosive” one that perhaps even goes the distance with ROJO juking and jiving at full speed off those downfield blocks.

    We haven’t seen much of that the past few years. The TD part anyways. Martin always seemed to get “caught” – even on his biggest runs…

  35. Brandon Says:

    Licht’s Out Says:
    April 30th, 2018 at 12:05 am
    A firm yet fair assessment…I get the feeling we will be watching Tyson Alualu 2 : Electric Boogaloo. I also believe there were better corners on the board than the 2 taken in the 2nd round. I’d love to be wrong…15 years of mostly garbage has made me a cynic.


    Worst player comparison of 2018… is it because they have long hair? These two players couldn’t be further apart. Alualu was a speed guy. He went to the Senior Bowl and dominated with his speed and spin move. He was/is under 300 lbs and ran under 4.9. He was all about quickness. If played in a 3-4 he would be a 5-tech DE. Vea is a giant space eater. He runs fairly well for a giant guy but his game is about strength. He would be the prototypical NT in a 3-4. His NFL comparison varies but Vince Wilfork is a good place to start.