Koetter Talks Peyton Barber, No. 1 RB

June 14th, 2018

Peyton Barber is your top dog, the Buccaneers’ No. 1 running back.

That’s exactly where it stands as mandatory minicamp closed today, and that’s what it will be when training camp opens in six weeks, barring a wild trade by general manager Jason Licht.

It was a new role for Barber entering the 2018 offseason. He took the large majority of first-team reps through the spring, despite the presence of rookie Ronald Jones, the No. 38 overall pick in April’s draft. For the past two springs and summers, it was the Doug Martin show at One Buc Palace.

Joe asked Dirk Koetter today how Barber has grown into his role as the go-to running back.

JoeBucsFan.com: What kind of maturity did you see from Peyton Barber? It was the first time he got to come in as the No. 1 guy in the spring.

Dirk Koetter: I think he’s ready for it. I think he’s ready for it. He looks quicker to me. He’s still 235 pounds, which when you see the body weights you want to think Peyton’s 225 because he looks faster. I think Peyton’s matured a lot. I think having Jacquizz [Rodgers] and Chuck [Sims] to coach, to help coach not only Peyton but also Ronald Jones, it’s nice to have those veterans there. But I’ve got no problem with Peyton being out there.

First, it’s worth noting that Koetter didn’t mention any kind of competition battle for the top running back position, and Koetter did not dispute or discredit Joe’s contention that Barber is the No. 1 guy.

Joe is very confident that Jones will get his shots, but only roughly 8 to 10 carries a game, especially through the first four games. The Bucs have a bye in Week 5. Jones will have to prove himself.

Before some Bucs fans start screaming, remember that Saints stud rookie RB last year, Alvin Kamara, averaged just seven carries per game.

43 Responses to “Koetter Talks Peyton Barber, No. 1 RB”

  1. Lord Cornelius Says:

    I just hope Jones can get his hands working. I’m fine with Barber I think he’s super underrated. Watch his 2017 film. Dude got a ton of yards after contact

  2. johnnybuc Says:

    smart not to put a rookie who had been banged up before in college who also isn’t very good in pass pro out on the field as the “starter” i see it playing out similar too the saints backfield last season peyton will get the majority of the load but rojo will get like you said about 8 to 10 touches per game and they may result in more splash plays earning him more respect from media than what peyton will get. peyton 100 % deserves the opportunity if he was giving the chance last yr to be the main guy all year he’s probably close to the 1000 yard range

  3. ben Says:

    Barber is fine going up the middle but does not enough speed to take it outside .

  4. stpetebucsfan Says:

    The nice thing is that ROJO and Barber bring totally different skill sets to their position. It makes them very complementary in the backfield.

    I can see one of them as RB 1A and the other as RB 1B.

  5. Greg Says:

    Getting real tired of this BS. Barber is not a starter. Hes slow and no threat out of the backfield. Rodgers and Simms offer nothing as true running backs. Jones is talented but too small at 200 pounds to be a workhorse.

    So if Light doesnt do something we will be bitching again post season what a soft team we are on offense. We made 1 move for the worst O-line in the NFL!!! As of today we have the worst backfield in the NFL. Light needs to get his head out of his ass. Took too long to address D-line with a temporary brandade. Players are around 30 already. O-line sucks. Running backs are available and we better get a good one or Lights done

  6. Casual Observer Says:

    I think Barber has been under rated. Glad he is doing so well now. Pretty reliable RB. Can share with Jones over time. RB position looks good.

  7. BucsBandit Says:


    You don’t use your 2nd highest selection in a Draft to take a RB if you have confidence in Barber to be the #1 back. If Koetter’s plans were to simply add another back to do a “running back by committee” he could have added a decent RB prospect in the 3rd or 4th round.

    But the Bucs didn’t do that… they used the 38th overall pick to select Ronald Jones for a reason. They DON’T have some supreme confidence in Barber being their #1 guy. If you do, there is no way you’d use your #38 pick on a RB. You’d use it on another position of need.

    Joe asked Koetter a vague question about Barber. There was nothing vague about Joe’s question. And your other takes are inaccurate. –Joe

    Of course, Koetter is going to state that Barber is the #1 guy going into camp — Jones is a rookie and coaches always yield to the previous veteran.

    Ronald Jones IS the Bucs #1 back. That’s exactly why they used the #38 overall pick to get him. Barber will be used as well, but the primary intention is for Jones to be the feature back this season once he learns the playbook and gets a little experience.

  8. Defense Rules Says:

    True that Kamara only got 120 rushing attempts in 2017 (plus was targeted in the passing game another 100 times), but he was on the field for 466 offensive snaps Joe (plus 44 ST plays). IOW he was the focus of the play less than half the time. I have no idea how good he is at pass blocking, but I’d suspect he was used as a ‘decoy’ quite a bit. Anyone who averages over 6 yds per rush & over 10 yds per reception commands attention.

  9. Bucsfanman Says:

    He earned it. We need both backs anyway.
    That’s coming from a former Martin apologist!

  10. SCBucsFan Says:

    I know I’m in the minority but I see Barber as a lead running back on a really bad team. I don’t see anything special in him. Prove me wrong Barber.

  11. 813bucboi Says:

    barber earned it……he’ll produce….


  12. Pickgrin Says:

    “I’ve got no problem with Peyton being out there.”

    That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement…

  13. Nick2 Says:

    Remember he had no problem with Doug Martin starting all last year as well. Buc fans are used to the best running back sitting on the bench that’s all I have to say. Peyton has earned it but ROJO is obviously one of our most talented players and his fumble rate is ridiculously low coming out of college. I think he should start after the bye week.

  14. Mike Johnson Says:

    Peyton Barber will have a good year. But I’m still thinkin..the rookie Jones will not be denied. He’s gonna have even a better year.

  15. Season Is Over Says:

    What was the point of drafting a runner early if he wasn’t an all-purpose back? They had every opportunity to fix the running game. Jones should be a competent day one starter. End of story. If he is unable to beat out Barber this team is in real trouble as Barber couldn’t even beat out a suspended, struggling Martin.

  16. Robert Says:

    doug martin will have 500 more yards

  17. Lord Cornelius Says:

    lol @ the freak outs here

  18. DB55 Says:

    Why is Barber better than Rodgers?

    I like barber, I think in a couple years he’ll rush for 1000 yards, ….for his career. 😳

    This thing is just a mess. At least the glaziers have a new sports bar going in and have raised ticket prices bc you know profits > wins.

  19. doctor_berto Says:

    Im just ready for a new coach next year

  20. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The truth is in the middle…..Barber should start unless he loses it in training camp…..he should get most of the carries….but Jones will have a huge role and eventually will likely beat out Barber.
    I agree that we didn’t select a RB with our 38th pick to sit on the bench….but you have to have multiple running backs.
    Sims & Rodgers will have their roles also….
    I also don’t think there is anything wrong with a 2 back set……Barber is big enough to block for Jones…..

  21. unbelievable Says:

    Nothing to really see here. Barber has been modestly effective, knows the playbook and is a vet.

    No coach on any team is ever going to have a rookie penciled in as the starter during spring practices.

  22. DB55 Says:

    The best rb on the roster is Jordan Whitehead. Move Whitehead to rb. Move Kwon to safety with Evans. Move Beckwith to mlb. Then you have only 1 real weakness at cb, but wtfdik

  23. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Lot of weird takes here..

    For 1 – Barber is a 3 down back. His pass pro has improved every year. I don’t think I saw him drop a ball either last year. Smooth capable hands.

    Barber rarely ever ran for anything less than a couple yards. He rarely took any negative plays. He also has shown some big play capability if you go watch the highlights from the Packers game. Or the 44 yard TD vs the 49ers.

    He’s not super explosive but he’s far from just some average bum of a RB. He maximized his gains last year and took what the D gave him and turned a ton of 2 yard runs into 5 yards. Martin has never really done that imo even in his best years. His best years were super inflated by a couple huge games; but he had tons of bad games and tons of bad negative runs mixed throughout his resume even in his best seasons. Never got the obsession with him as a talent

  24. Kobe Faker Says:

    OMG!…Read below

    Klueless and Kobe Faker finally agree

    Barber is a legit starter. North and south 1 cut back that runs hard after contact and has descent hands

    ran very effectively with the mess of oline we had last year. ran even better with marpet and sweezy out

    no wasted steps and hits the initial opening going forward…

    yes Barber is not a homerun hitter but the defense will have to take him seriously

    As we all know, predicatable klueless gets in a mental funk at 3rd and short…

    how effective Barber is converting 3rd and short can swing 4-6 wins for the 2018 season

    **peyton better not start laying the ball down after Kobe Fakers edorsement

  25. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Also I don’t think Barber is some elite talent that’s not really my point. But I think he may surprise some people.

    Jones = the future though. He will make an impact from day 1 imo as long as he’s healthy.

  26. DB55 Says:


  27. Kobe Faker Says:

    Kluless likes to run up the middle…

    if the sheep thinks that our 200lber can take that abuse and also be effective between the NFL tackles is very mistaken

    “This isnt kansas (PAC12 defense) anymore”

    Kobe Faker

  28. Capt.Tim Says:

    I think Peyton Barber will shine as a starter.
    Big guys with quick feet are always the right answer

  29. Ptwalk Says:

    Barber is about to surprise a lot of you. I say he’ll get well over 1000 yds. He is the key that will make our offense unstoppable.

  30. RickinFtMyers Says:

    Peyton Barber is my guy at #1 running back for the Bucs. No disrespect to Ronald Jones or his speed, strength, courage, or undoubted instincts and I’m sure he’ll make a big contribution. However, if I’m reading the tea leaves correctly about where the Bucs are headed, we need a smash mouth running back in the mold of Mike Alstott and Barber is that kind of back. To paraphrase OC Todd Monken, Barber turns two-yard runs in four, four-yard runs into six, and six-yard runs into eight. That’s the kind of smash mouth football the Bucs offense needs to play. It shouldn’t be anything else give the t type of players Jason Licht picked up in free agency, through a big trade, and in the draft – all smash mouth guys who want to mix it up. The offensive backfield shouldn’t be any different. Put the football down, snap it and challenge the defense to stop the run. May the baddest man win. Can we reincarnate Bronco Nagurski please.

  31. Dapostman Says:

    Pound the rock! Pound the rock! Pound the rock!!!

  32. Destinjohnny Says:

    Love his story but is he a franchise back?????
    I would have drafted Guice instead of M.J.

  33. Bob in Valrico Says:

    I look for Koetter to stay with Barber until Jones is ready or he puts the ball on the ground too much. He had twice as many fumbles as any other back on the team. This is the only plausible reason I can think of that Koetter may have stayed with Martin, But Rogers only has three fumbles in his entire career .

  34. SteelStudBuc Says:

    Some guys say Barber doesn’t have speed? He can take off. Remember his first touchdown vs 49ers? Get him a few blocks and he’s gone. He’s got game speed and he’s tough as nails.

  35. dbagskarma Says:

    could be a great combo to take the heat off of JW. He’ll be devestating with a good run game provided Mookin doesn’t go all Dirk on them..

  36. Lucious Selmon Says:

    I think the majority here agree. Barber will get his chance to shine. I hated how he was wasted on the bench last year, while Druggie Fresh stumbled around.

    Lots of teams manage to get two backs heavily involved. The Bucs have been that team a few times. RoJo will get his looks. Might just clone WD-40 this season!


  37. Not there yet Says:

    Earnit young man…..being drafted high is no longer a reason too make you a starter. Best to have specific plays for rojo until he knows enough to beat out the vets

  38. BucEmUp Says:

    It’s really important for Jones to be a good pass catcher this season. That will yield some huge gains.

    I like Barber though. The guy runs hard and is humble.

  39. BucEmUp Says:

    Greg had Barber gotten all.of the carries all season you think he wouldn’t have had 1000 yard season? The guy ALWAYS got an extra yard or two out of nothing. Martin just stopped when breathed on. He is no Todd Gurley obviously but I’m anxious to see how he looks knowing it’s his job to lose.

  40. BucEmUp Says:

    I’m not sure if it’s ok to share a link on here, but this college video of Barber man he runs angry. I’ve never went back and watch him from college and now really excited to see what he does with 22 carries a game


  41. Bobby M. Says:

    The selection of Barber as the starter continues the theme that protecting Winston is priority #1….Not to say Barber isn’t capable but it’s a copy cat league and both Super Bowl teams had combos of runners with specialities. It’s much easier to replace 1 of 3 backs….Then 1 back that does all 3 specialties (run inside, home run threat, catch passes).

  42. m0j0 Says:

    Barber reminds me of Ernest Graham. I think Barber will be very productive this year and help the offense sustain drives. I am hoping Jones will be a bit like a Warrick Dunn type for us, which some take it to the house type of plays, but we certainly don’t want to rely on him too much until he has had some time to learn the playbook and know his pass protection assignments very well.

  43. Crazed Bucs Fan Says:

    Man, No! Freaking Barber.