Koetter: “Very Hard Decision” On Ronald Jones

September 19th, 2018


It’s always stunning when the No. 38 overall pick in the April NFL Draft is healthy and inactive on opening day.

And then again the following Sunday.

Joe’s talking about Ronald Jones and fans want answers. Many don’t seem to be satisfied with the fact the Bucs don’t consider Jones good enough to crack their gameday lineup yet.

On the Buccaneers Radio Network before the big win against the Eagles, Dirk Koetter was asked by a fan what Jones needs to show him to be activated.

Koetter was firm that Jones has shown enough. It’s just that undrafted rookie Shaun Wilson brings more to the table.

“We’re willing to activate Ronald right now. He doesn’t have to show us anything else. It’s just again, when you only get 46 players up on game day. You only have so many guys at each position up,” Koetter said. “Right now, Peyton [Barber] is the starter [at running back]. You know, Quizz [Rodgers] is kind of a jack-of-all trades and also plays a lot on special teams. It was a very hard decision whether to go with Shaun Wilson or Ronald Jones as the No. 3 back [against the Eagles]. And we went with Shaun strictly because he was going to be our kickoff return man. And sure enough he made a nice return to get us past the 30 yard line on his one opportunity. So, we’re not disappointed with Ronald at all. He’s doing fine. He’s getting better. He’s workin’ at it. And, you know, when it’s time for him to get in there and play, then we’ll put him out there and I’m confident that he’s going to do a nice job.”

So there’s your answer. Wilson is more valuable and Jones’ time will come.

What stunned Joe on Sunday — and likely the Eagles’ defensive coordinator — was the first Buccaneers’ carry of the day went to Wilson, a nine-yard run out of the shotgun.

Joe sure would like to see the Bucs run more out of the shotgun when they’re trying to ice a game, more room to run and fewer guys swarming the ball and trying for a strip.

As for Jones, this certainly isn’t what the plan was when he was drafted. Regardless, the way NFL running backs gets injured, we’ll likely see Jones play in the first half of the season.

47 Responses to “Koetter: “Very Hard Decision” On Ronald Jones”

  1. miken Says:

    record setting offense despite no run game. At some point,we are going to have to run the ball. Some of the dissapointment in jones is taken away with the find in wilson.

  2. BucfanBF Says:

    Jones will get his opportunity this year and will hopefully prove all the naysayers wrong.
    Go Bucs!

  3. AlteredEgo Says:

    Shaun Wilson is a nifty shifty runner always moving forward…and he is a returner with proven hands coming out of the back field and is probably a head of RoJo in pass pro…..all that said …go check out some of RoJo’s youtube highlights….IMO all he needs is a few successful carries in the NFL and he’ll be over the hump….

  4. mark2001 Says:

    Jones will eventually be fine. Jameis sued by the uber driver in the news today? The never ending story? Maybe not so much.

  5. Walter Seidel Says:

    Joe, why are you not posting the biggest news happening with Winston right now?

  6. Skywalker Says:

    Our team is very secretive about stuff so I bet their is more to why he isn’t playing right now.

  7. BucDan Says:

    miken Says:
    September 19th, 2018 at 8:05 am
    record setting offense despite no run game. At some point,we are going to have to run the ball. Some of the dissapointment in jones is taken away with the find in wilson.


    This guy gets it! The same can be said about Justin Watson (if you saw his play in preseason, although not a 2nd rd pick). Loads of guys that can play at the position. Like Koetter said, have to find the best for each week.

    Now, would we all be happy if RoJo was a monster? OF COURSE! But I’m definitely not mad that an undrafted free agent happens to be showing more heart/determination/understanding of offense, whatever!

  8. The Buc Realist Says:

    Mainly its has been pass protection, and numbers on special teams!!!!! The pass protection cannot be underestimated!!!!! But the “real” fans said this last year when the argument of why Payton Barber was not getting all the playing time with a struggling O-line!!!!!!!!!

    The exciting thing sheep is that the game plan and roster is being tailored against its opponents!!!! you sit ROJO against the team that is great at rush defense!!!!!! Total pass attack and it was planned!!!!!!!

    #trust the coaches!!!!!!! Fix the “real” problem!!!! the roster!!!!!!!!!

    GO BUCS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Good question Walter.

  10. Bucsfanman Says:

    EARN IT Jones! Plain and simple.

    Is it me, or does Realist have a “sheep” fetish! Just sayin’!

  11. zzbucs Says:

    There is always a complaint!!! Makes me sick!!!! Team is playing extraordinary football, we are 2-0 when 99% of people were pesimists, there is a very optimistic atmosphere around 1 bucs place, so why now people complaint about Rojo??? Everybody knows his time will come soon….Just be pactient that´s all!!!!! first game people complainning about defense, now is the running game, if we beat the steeleres, what will be next???? Can you people relax and enjoy the moment? Am I asking to much here Joe????

  12. D-Rome Says:

    What a bunch of crap! If Jones was good they would find room on the roster and have someone else be the kickoff return man. Same goes with Noah Spence. I don’t want to hear this special teams nonsense.

  13. Waterboy Says:

    They need to give Wilson more carries to see what he can do.

  14. 813bucboi Says:

    I don’t care if its pass pro, ST or running ability……if you’re picked #38, you should be good enough to see the field in some capacity…..to be getting outplayed by an UDFA is a huge red flag…..from what ive seen in PS and up until this point, Wilson is better at running and pass pro so rojo might not see the field unless an injury occurs(knock of wood)…..


  15. OneBucPerson Says:

    Rojo isn’t truly gonna get better while on the bench, he has game changing speed from the RB position. Put him out there and let him earn his keep.

  16. martinii Says:

    How is it so hard to understand that you can only play 46 players. If Koetter satisfied with him then whats it hurt if sits a few games. One of our backs will pull up lame and we will put him in. Though he is a 2nd RD rookie he is still a rookie. We are winning. I just don’t understand the consummate need to bitch about something. Did you notice our first round pick has not played either. has it hurt us? Do you think he will eventually start? How about one of our offseason acquisitions Urllein, he hasn’t played and we haven’t bitched about him yet. What I am saying is we have some depth that will serve us well later in the season. Just relax, have a beer, and enjoy, we are 2-0.

  17. 813bucboi Says:

    regarding the Winston situation, I think its becoming a witch hunt now….in 5months this incident will be 3years old……why wait to file a lawsuit?…..the storm was just about to pass and now things are brewing again…..clearly there’s an agenda out against Winston to keep negativity surrounding him…..this is BS…..if I was Winston, id pay her $75,000 in all 1’s…..and then grab my crotch like I was beastmode…..


  18. Hodad Says:

    So Wilson had a return past the 30, if he took a knee we would’ve had the ball at the 25, big deal. Most kick offs are touch backs anyway. My question is why hasn’t Jones been given an opportunity as a kick returner now, or in the preseason? The fact is Koetter has never trusted rookie running backs going way back. Him, and Mike Smith wouldn’t let Donte Freeman on the field as a rookie the next year he exploded on the scene after Koetter, and Smith were fired. Quizz is reliable in pass pro that’s why he plays, they don’t trust Rojo, but how do you get better without playing? I would rather see Jones, or Wilson get the touches Quizz gets.

  19. Pickgrin Says:

    I saw at least one or two of Barber’s runs last Sunday where I thought – “Rojo could have turned that 9 yard run into a 65 yard TD”.

    Barber plods ahead nicely and is almost always getting positive yards – but he looks to be perpetually stuck in 2nd gear when it comes to open field running.

    Rojo has the one thing you can’t teach and that the other RBs on the roster lack which is game breaking speed.

  20. Wausa Says:

    Wilson is not going to carry the load for this Bucs team, but I would like to see him get 7 or 8 carries a game and see what he brings to the running game.
    I watched him a lot in college and he was a dynamic player.

  21. called out Says:

    I must say, between Jones and Noah Spence being on the inactive list, Koetter is making the tough but correct decision. When you are not a first stringer at your position, it comes down to special teams. Since neither contribute to special teams it hurts their chances.

  22. Not there yet Says:

    Translation work on your blocking because it’s disappointing to bucs like me to see Quizz to be getting so many meaningful snaps. This is the one thing I have about koetter. He won’t leave a back in Long enough to see if they’ll get hot. Peyton and quizz are the exact same back, there is a reason he won’t give Peyton the same blinding loyalty he gave Doug Martin. Once again teams are not worried about our run games, can’t win playoffs game if you can’t run, yes Dirk has a lot of work to do. Can’t expect this kind of passing game all year teams will figure it out sooner or later hopefully later

  23. Greg Says:

    I am honestly trying to give Joe the benefit of the doubt here considering how much she loves Winston to get his facts in order but Joe is usually on top of every story very quickly which is why I keep coming back to this site. Surprising that nothing is been said about Winston yet and it was reported yesterday by every other media for him. And I’m sure Joe gets alerts on his phone like we all do. Come on Joe step it up!

  24. Greg Says:

    He not she. that was an auto correct not an attempt at humor.

  25. Reality_43 Says:

    I wouldn’t say Jameis being sued is the biggest news. It’s only $75,000 and he will pay it and move forward. She is just trying to smear his name at this point. Said she wasn’t after money. LMAO.

    I wanna know what those yoga pants looked like on her?
    I’ve seen some very inviting ones.

    Not grab a pus$y good but come on.

    Jameis is still gonna tear it up

  26. Batman Wood Says:

    I think this is just as much about Wilson being surprisingly good as RoJo being bad so far. Wilson should have been drafted. He has instant acceleration and good hands. During his KO return TD against Alabama the kid came to a dead stop half way through, reaccelerated and outran everybody. RoJo will get his opportunity. He’s not a bust.

  27. Blogtalkfootball.com Says:

    Depth at RB is a nice problem to have. The rate that other teams’ players are dropping due to injuries means the law of averages will bring the hammer of doom to some of our players. At least this year, we are deeper at some key positions that we were not in the past. While I hope we stay so healthy that RoJo, Watson and Spence don’t see the field this year, I am comforted knowing we will have players that can help us win when they are active.

    In fact, Watson could tear it up in the pass first offense we have going right now. I hope RoJo is working the jugs machine daily to improve his pass catching skills so that when we bring him in, he can help with both running and catching.


  28. passthebuc Says:

    As i said previously, trade all our 1&2 picks for 3rds and 4ths. We seem to get better players.

  29. Owlykat Says:

    Until Jones gets his confidence up he is going to be timid and indecisive. The Bucs should wait until we play a weak team, activate Jones, grab a big lead, and then play Jones and only do plays that you know he can do. Once you build up his confidence up, he will be a different player. Remember VHIII’s progression this year with confidence!

  30. Richard Says:

    Well joe good thing your not the coach, cause I think the approach and strategy coach koetter has taken with his team and the media this season is on another level.
    I say to joe, have fun guessing what he’s going to say or not say this season. Looks like the local media will have to work harder for a story this year.

  31. Joe Says:


    Well joe good thing your not the coach, cause I think the approach and strategy coach koetter has taken with his team and the media this season is on another level.
    I say to joe, have fun guessing what he’s going to say or not say this season. Looks like the local media will have to work harder for a story this year.

    Joe can promise you Licht didn’t draft a guy 38th overall to be a healthy scratch and not be available in the first two weeks of the season. The fact a guy who was an undrafted free agent at the same position is active and getting touches over a guy drafted No. 38 overall is a major red flag.

    From Joe’s experiences with Koetter, high profile players who are inactive, there is usually an underlying reason and none of them are good.

    You seem to suggest Koetter is being savvy in having a high draft pick in street clothes who allegedly is healthy. For the life of Joe, just cannot come up with any logical reason how this is a good thing.

  32. Owlykat Says:

    The player I am concerned about is Spence. The Bucs need to assign him a personal trainer, who will teach him how to build up his weight and strength at the same time. He should never have have dropped his weight without permission from the Bucs. (Winston shouldn’t have dropped his weight last year, which I think contributed to his susceptibility to injury last year.)

  33. Solinor Says:

    you’d be hard pressed to find a 2nd round RB in the league not starting. It’s early, but this guy looks like a bust. This may be a terrible draft day decision.

  34. Joe Says:

    you’d be hard pressed to find a 2nd round RB in the league not starting.

    Not just that, but inactive. In street clothes.

    It would take hours but Joe sort of wants to sift through the gameday roster of every team last year to find second round picks (any position) who were healthy scratches.

  35. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    I saw that joe posted the above, basically jones being drafted this high is a huge mistake or miss on the scouting dept and licht that a 2nd round back is not playing because over the past 3 years there are at least 10 RBs that are playing or contributing in a huge way to their teams, so obviously jones has no clue on the playbook and may never get it which would lend to some problems with jones and his comprehension skills of an nfl playbook, but I would hope the scoutintg dept could diagnose this before passing on guice and others the past few years and drafting these left coast backs, stick with the RBs from the South and wisconsin or michigan, they all are solid contrinutors in the nfl

  36. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Joe- According to Richard, Jones is our super-secret weapon! So secret, he got beat out by an UDFA rookie. SMH!
    It’s a “what have you done for me lately” league. Rojo hasn’t even blipped the radar yet! It’s a shame. You WANT your 2nd round guy to show you something.

  37. Joe Says:

    The player I am concerned about is Spence.

    You should be. When a guy who couldn’t make a winless team (think about that) is getting far more snaps at the same position than a second round pick, that’s not just a red flag, that’s flashing red lights of a police car.

  38. Trench War Says:

    Spence is trade bait, especially when certain players can be reactivated. Also, as far as being drafted 38th overall doesn’t give a player the golden ticket. His skillset right now is limited when you don’t participate on special teams. Do you expect them to carry 4 RB’s on the gameday roster? Guarantee if or when Barber goes down we’ll see RoJo in uniform. He will be fresh, and ready to roll.

  39. GhostofSchiano Says:

    Rojo has good hands…..and he keeps those hands to himself

  40. Joe Says:

    Rojo has good hands…..and he keeps those hands to himself

    Joe sees what you are doing there. 🙂

  41. Brandon Says:

    Joe Says:
    September 19th, 2018 at 11:03 am
    The player I am concerned about is Spence.

    You should be. When a guy who couldn’t make a winless team (think about that) is getting far more snaps at the same position than a second round pick, that’s not just a red flag, that’s flashing red lights of a police car.


    Did you see Brian Baldinger’s take on Nassib? He’s really a solid player with some upside. The tweet he sent out had Nassib bullrushing Lane Johnson into Foles’ lap and then turning back outside in a split second and putting more heat on Foles, who rolled out, and putting a hit on him as he threw. Very good stuff. Nassib had a 2nd round grade the year he came out and looked like a 1st rounder based on the Senior Bowl week performance. The fact that he didn’t make the Browns isn’t a big deal, that team has had bad personnel, draft, free agency, and roster decisions for two decades. Nassib can play both sides effectively and is good against the run… he’s a different player than Spence, in the Gholston mode only bigger, faster, and with a better motor.

  42. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Spence is the one released when JW comes back…..

  43. BucEmUp Says:

    Who is our rb coach? All.of the backs including Barber to this point in the season seem to have slow legs at the point of handoff. The good backs hit the holes fast. Why are they churning so slowly? Soon defenses are not going to give us the deep plays and starts daring us to run the ball.

  44. Mike Johnson Says:

    I’d drop Spence like a Bad Habit..And Quick!! Nassib is going to pay dividends for us, watch and see. The guys got a motor. As for Our rookie RB Jones? I don’t know. He sure as hell did not show us anything during preseason. He might not have it at the NFl level. I’d do an intense eval on the guy. Give him a few snaps and some punt returns in a live game. If he does not wake-up by midseason? Can him too!!! Drop all the dead weight. Improve this team even more. Championship teams do not hesitate with Medicre talent. Plug in the holes and lets make a run!!

  45. ToesOnTheLine!!!! Says:

    Well before we crucify RoJo or Koetter let’s look at this years crop of rookie RB’s. First round pick Sony Michell was inactive week one and could have possibly been inactive week two if not for the Patriots losing Hill to a season ending injury. Nick Chubb has played both games and has had a total of five carries for 35 yards. Guice gets a mulligan, Kalen Balege has also been inactive both weeks (though a 4th rounder). Keryon Johnson has gotten some use as has Royce Freeman, but neither has came in and seized the starting job on their respective teams (yet). For whatever reason it seems like this year’s crop of drafted rookie RB’s (not named Saquon Barkley) are struggling a little. That said I’m glad the Bucs have the luxury so far to get RoJo’s development to the point that he becomes a must start for the team. I’m hopefully optimistic that happens sometime around the Buc’s bye week.

  46. Reach87 Says:

    He’ll be fine. Bucs fans always trying to play GM and cut someone not even knowing the plan. Coach explained the deal. That’s the deal. Funny. Go Bucs!

  47. SOEbuc Says:


    Doesn’t surprise me one bit that Koetter has Wilson above Jones. He was good running and ST all through preseason and the very few times he’s rushed in the first two games he’s look very good. He needs to be given the rock more but I guess that’s hard to do when you’re throwing the ball 90% of the time.