Licht: “Nobody’s Given Up On Ronald Jones”

February 27th, 2019

Bucs GM Jason Licht spoke this morning

Perhaps in the minds of the Buccaneers’ power brokers, they don’t need a running back.

Man, Joe sure hopes the team isn’t thinking that way.

But it seems they might just be. General manager Jason Licht spoke at the NFL Scouting Combine this morning and said ‘”nobody’s given up on Ronald Jones” and Licht is expecting a “big jump” from the second-year running back in 2019. He also talked about how Jones was getting hit too early in the backfield during his historically rotten preseason — 28 carries for 22 yards — and he could use a shot of confidence.

And Joe could use a shot of whiskey.

Look, Joe’s not giving up on Jones, either. But if the Bucs don’t draft a running back with real potential this year, or sign a solid veteran with youngish legs, Joe might just need a day off to recover from the inevitable seizure.

There’s hope for Jones, but there’s no reason to bank on the guy.

53 Responses to “Licht: “Nobody’s Given Up On Ronald Jones””

  1. Etzel Says:

    I think it’s our fault. We should have tempered expectations. After the Stephen Jackson debacle in ATL, followed by the Doug Martin experience here… it’s painfully obvious Dirk has no intentions of giving a rookie RB a legitimate chance at starting.

    Three years shooting for mediocrity and missing twice.

  2. tbbucs3 Says:

    I have.

  3. Bird Says:

    No mojo

    Hope he’’s been married to the jugs machine in offseason and is trying to catch a hundred balls a day.

    He was a rookie who didn’t pick up playbook to well so was not running on instinct. He would put 2 hands on ball and lower head every time.

    Let’s see what this year holds for the young man

  4. Lord Cornelius Says:

    More yards after contact than yards in general for Rojo last year. Thank god we gave him like 1 touch a game to get acclimated or get any confidence going behind our sh1t run blocking. Thank god all his preseason touches were him getting destroyed 5 yards behind the LOS. That’s great for developing a rookie RB.

  5. Greg Says:

    I just know there is some kind of back story to RJ. Coach did not give him a real chance in games and our play calling, Lights O-line, system with no fullback all must be factored in. Its not like Barber did well either. David Johnson caught a lot of balls under Arians and we hardly ever used the screen which will help running backs, the O-line, and Jameis.

  6. Waterboy Says:

    Better have a solid backup plan to compete for the job.

  7. Loyaltotheend Says:

    When your overpaid interior of the o line can’t open holes it’s gonna be tough running for any back. Rookie or high priced vet

    One day Joe will understand the game

  8. destinjohnny Says:

    Or MJ Stewart or Justin Evans or Alex Cappa or Vernon Hardgraves I can go on and on and on and on and on

  9. Dewey Selmon Says:

    RoJo and Tom Brady both had 23 carries last year. RoJo gained 9 more yards.

  10. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Rojo was supposed to be that change of pace guy for third downs. Licht knew better than to draft a light weight who could not catch a ball thrown by his grandma.

  11. Bucsfanman Says:

    Two words: OFFENSIVE LINE!

    That said, Jones was “supposed” to be the shiftier, faster back. Other backs had more success that were not as fast behind the same line.
    We have seen NOTHING from ROJO that indicates he’s a work-in-progress. We should have seen something by now.

  12. Ndog Says:

    It is becoming clearer daily just how bad Licht thought our last coaching staff was. I for one couldn’t agree more, it looks like they really put the last two seasons on the coaching staff and not the players. I mean how could you not with the ridiculous stuff they allowed from DJax, Swaggy and Grimes alone. The locker room was pure disfunction and that leads to trash performance on the field. Just from that improvement alone, if it actually happens, that should account for 4-5 additional wins. We have to have a team that loves and plays for each other, and under Dirk that was hard with his staff allowing so many players to put themselves over the team and then still rewarding them with playing time, naming them captains, making excuses for them and so and so on.

  13. Robert Says:

    he’ll be fine.

    2 cycles in the offseason while squatting like bruce jenner in key west and he’ll be a beast!

  14. Robert Says:

    katlyn I mean. no disrespect intended to him

  15. BetterBucFan Says:

    Ronald Jones needs FIRST TEAM reps. When you’re trying to establish how skilled an athlete is, you don’t put him behind nobodies and camp meat, like Jones was in preseason. How many times was he hit behind the line? How can you expect him to get anything when he’s consistently hit behind the line?

    We need to upgrade the offensive line, we can’t afford losing lineman, which is why re-signing D. Smith should be our #1 priority!

  16. AKickInTheBucNuts Says:

    Tell “Joker Face Licht” (see picture above) that expecting a “big jump” from RoJo this year would once again prove this GM keeps gambling on players that have shown no production and expecting different results.

  17. Boogie Nightz Says:

    Well said Joe.

  18. Greg Says:

    Our (Starters) Donovan smith sucks and GM will re-sign him simply because he drafted him and THERE IS NO BACKUP, Division 3 guard, Overpaid penalty magnet center, NOTHING AT RIGHT GUARD, Mediocre RT Dotson who is well into his 30s and we have NO BACKUP PLAN!!!

    Football is still a game won in the trenches and our GM thinks if you just load his mistake at #1 overall with more receivers nothing else matters.

  19. SenileSenior Says:

    Greg, I agree.

    There is something else going on with Rojo. It is hard to believe he has fallen so far down from his college playing days.

    Austin Seferian-Jenkins’ alcohol problems remained hidden to us until after he was gone. No one knew Gaines Adams had a serious heart condition until he died at a tragically young age.

  20. StoutGospel Says:

    Already today, there seems to be, rather IS…a lot of team and player information hitting the wires across the league, but we don’t seem to have much here. Hardly.

    This little ROJO blurb is, well…barely anything, and largely very low on the totem pole of Bucs’ offseason importance.

    I’m sure all readers here would like more information in each article, than just one central “theme”, and for basically them to be created faster…..pretty much like PFT. I’m sure there’s a good deal of Bucs’ info emanating from the Combine….

    C’mon now 🙂

    Go Bucs!

  21. BucEmUp 7 Says:

    I agree. I actualky see ROJO being a phenomenal little running back with real coaching. ait would be irresponsible to give up on him.

    It would slao be irrisponsible to assume that and not draft a running back.

    DRAFT LJ SCOTT!!! Not sure why that kid isnt even in the top ten but hes big and ges got serious talent

  22. Bruce Blahak Says:

    it’s just spin talk…can’t catch, no vision….he’ll be a camp cut

  23. tmaxcon Says:

    There is no hope for bucs or hojo… glazers are more concerned with basement streak than winning

  24. BucNole Says:

    This is just JL covering his butt. . . we will see what the coaches think of Jones pretty quick if we select a RB early in the draft.
    With all of our own FAs being resigned and or tagged I don’t see how we can address this in FA.

  25. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    What is licht supposed to say over all these horrible FA signings and terrible draft picks…the proof is in the record, great job drafting an RB who CANNOT catch the football or do the main job of a running back run the ball….

  26. Tbbucs3 Says:

    This is going to turn into a Kenny Bell situation where Jason Licht keeps waiting and waiting for him to break out and then realizes that the NFL is not for everyone.

    The only difference is is that Kenny Bell actually flashed potential in underwear football

  27. rrsrq Says:

    I will say it again, we all laughed when Skip Baylee’s said he didn’t trust the coaching staff in Tampa, turns out he likely was correct. We will see improvement from offensive line (Dirk and company played musical chairs with every lineman except Dotson & D. Smith). RBs, even when Barber out performed Doug Martin, he put Martin in over Barber, that says all we need to know about how DK felt about RBs. Offense didn’t really take of again until Monken took over even with all the talent every one said we had.
    We al know how turrible Mike Smith was for 80% of the time he was running the defense without HC intervention.
    So I expect improvement even with all those already on the roster. Concerns of a slow secondary though. Not even worried about Caleb Benenoch, why because he will be back at RT where he is better in space than the former staff was trying to play him inside, Skip was right

  28. BucEmUp 7 Says:

    greg exavtky we hardly ever ran screen plays and ehen they did the blocking was horrible.

    Rojo will br the man eith good coaching but stikk need tondraft lj scott

  29. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    Would love to see that kid bounce back in year 2.
    I have my doubts, but I guess ya never really know.

  30. richardtyson Says:

    Please lose the name Rojo. Only players that produce get nicknames even if it’s an abbreviation of his full name. How about just Ronald. That name fits him perfectly.

  31. 813bucboi Says:

    he has to show something this year…..shouldve drafted guice….he almost put up the same numbers….


  32. Stanglassman Says:

    Senile- That’s a hell of a accusation not to have any proof. The kid is 20 years old. I read predraft that his 1st year at USC he needed time to adjust more than other local players because he had never been away from Texas. I think fans sometimes forget how young some of these players are. ROJO didn’t forget how to run the ball. He will bounce back next year under better coaching.

  33. SOEbuc Says:

    I continue to say you people, including yourself Joe, are idiots if you think we’re getting a RB within the top 4 rounds (unless we get multiple picks in trades). This guy was there second round pick last year and you think they’re not gonna give him another chance or risk making the same mistake? How many gaping holes do we have with a small amount of cap money at the moment? CB, RT, RG, LB, LT(?), and depth at every position on defense in general. No way. And get Shaun Wilson some touches to see if he can be Licht’s next UDFA diamond in the rough.

  34. Jeff Says:

    RJ just needs to get stronger. Needs his man weight and strength to kick in. He’ll be just fine. Mark the tape.

  35. BetterBucFan Says:


    I am of the opinion that Rojo was never very good. He played in the Pac-12, cheese competition, when he went up against any actual team he was SHUT DOWN. Look at him vs Alabama his Sophomore year. He was a non-factor.

    All his highlights are him blasting though open holes and outrunning opponents. Rarely did he ever flash anything like forcing a missed tackle.

  36. Robert Says:

    @ jeff

    thats what I said…….some juice and squats he be good

  37. JimmyJack Says:

    There was something totally wrong with our running scheme and design. Sorry y’all. Some of this is on OL….some on the RBs………..but coaching was a major factor too.

    When Dirk took over as HC he inherited a Top 5 rushing attack………We sharply declined in Dirk’s very first year and was a bottom 5 team. Losing Logan Mankins does not equal that steep of a drop. It was on coaching. They changed our entire run scheme and stopped doing what was proven to work………..The most glaring example of misusing players was when dumb ole Dirk decided to use Simms as a belcow type back……….This was beyond ignorant. Any common fan can see from their couch that Simms was not a every down back. He does not have the ability and was not what he was drafted to do. The thing that made it even worse was when he was put into that role for week after week after month. Pure incompetence.

    Dirk didn’t even give nobody a chance. R. Jones barely touched the ball for a entire season. And Everytime he did he was coming in cold from the bench???………You can’t give him a couple warm touches on your opening possession? Not once?……….This is a special kind of stupid………Dirk don’t know how to motivate people………..All you gotta do is let RoJo know he’s getting in on the first series. Let him get all jerked up for his pregame one time. Let em get some adreniline going…….Do it at a home game so he can feed off the fans………And you tell him early. Guarantee he treats practice differently that week.,…………………..Easy way to motivate somebody, but Dirk never did. It’s not guarantee to show results but it very much can.

  38. JimmyJack Says:

    Dirk didn’t never give Barber a chance niether. He hasn’t had a 20 carry game in his career. Somebody relay that one to Ian Beckles. He knows how important that stat is.

    Dirk never knew how to use RBs. I have still never forgiven him for the Thursday Night Patriots game. His worst coached game ever. Maybe 2nd to Dallas

    He abbonded the run on our first drive for absolutely no reason. In a way, I was done with Dirk after that 1st quarter. You really don’t have a chance to win with coaching that bad. It’s demorilozing.

  39. Defense Rules Says:

    Agree with those who question RoJo’s value to the Bucs. High probability IMO that he’s yet another bad Rnd 2 pick by Licht. Since 2014 we’ve had NINE 2nd Rnd picks … RoJo, Stewart, Davis, J Evans, Spence, Aquayo, D Smith, Marpet, ASJ. SEVEN of the 9 are still with us, but half only because they’re on cheap 4-year contracts. Given a choice, I’d keep Davis, J Evans, D Smith & Marpet and replace RoJo, Stewart & Spence. They were carried on the 53-man roster last year but didn’t really contribute all that much IMO. Lots of guys out there with far greater potential. Do your job Licht … FIND THEM.

  40. GhostofSchiano Says:

    Lord Cornelius Says – “Thank God we gave him like 1 touch a game to get acclimated or get any confidence going behind our sh1t run blocking.”


    AGREED. Why are there so few of us who agree the O-line stunk at run blocking? Stats be dammed, we had no run game. One could blame Barber, Jones and Rodgers but at what point does the O-line take responsibility? Dirks playbook? The play called versus the defensive alignment / personnel?

  41. zzbuc Says:

    What else would a GM say about his second round pick?

  42. AKickInTheBucNuts Says:

    I agree with AKick.

    That picture of Licht looks like the Joker.

  43. Nick2 Says:

    Joe I think either way we pick up a running back in the draft which will be a fall back plan if Barber and Jones just cant hack it. That with upgrading the offensive line to do more than pass block (run blocking takes a whole different mindset but one which good offensive lineman love) which is all we did last year and I think it will make a world of difference. The difference is that Arians knows you have to run the ball and Koetter banked on not having to or at least thinking we didn’t have to which is absurd when you look at the playoff teams and their ability to run the ball. I don’t think giving Ronald Jones a better look than Koetter gave him is in anyway a bad thing. The guy got hosed by a coach who could care less about running the damn ball.

  44. pick6 Says:

    the bucs owe it to themselves to let this play out. the offseason before a player’s rookie season is nothing like the offseasons that come after. RoJo will have a chance to get his body and mind ready to give the NFL his best shot, and he has a better coaching staff and hopefully a better OL to do it under. If he looks like “Bad Doug” Martin or Skinny version of Trent Richardson next year there’s definitely no hope for him

  45. Nick2 Says:

    Jimmyjack I couldn’t agree more well said.

  46. Kobe Faker Says:

    “Kobe talent evaluation is 2nd to none here

    Our 199lber doesnt have the physicality to hit the hole and break the initial contact

    the days of running thru daylight is long gone…

    reaching the 2nd level is to break thru it yourself

    Usually these types of lean build rbs can catch but our 199lber is even worse as a reciever

    like kobe has said. our scouts like to smoke grass. instead of the sec they like to head to the pac12 and the wac…

    Kobe is thinking Gumps scouts are right now at liberal Humboldt community college blazing and bringing back the fattest pothead back to tampa (Cappa ll)”

    Kobe Faker

  47. JimmyJack Says:

    Let’s me compare the difference of coaching here ……….I only have one example from Bruce which is the one time Dirk played him.

    Arizona was a passing team. No doubt they were planning on eating up our horroundous secondary(we were awful that year). But what happened in the first drive?

    They barely threw the ball. I doubt they planned to cram Adrian Peterson down our throats almost every play on that drive……..but they were prepared to if our defense was gonna sit back in a shell and give it to them. So they just kept running the ball the entire way down the field until they ran it through a gaping hole for a 7yard TD. Meanwhile our defense played back on their heels and never adjusted to what was happening. We were not prepared to ajdust like Bruces team was………………Dirk has had similar chances to switch his game plan and exploit the running game………..Just like the Patriots game mentioned above Dirk never made the adjustment and decided to leave the ball down the field. Dirk was a special type of stupid.

    What makes Dirk a special type was the second drive of that Arizona game…….OK so you got out coached and couldn’t adjust………Now you defense is off the field and can regroup…….But no. Dirk’s team didn’t. They went back onto the field and played the same shell and Bruce just did the same thing………14-0. very very special coaching.

    Make no bones. Coaching will make a difference for this rush attack.

  48. JimmyJack Says:


  49. Rod Munch Says:

    Go back and watch every Jones carry and tell me what exactly he should have done different on any of them that would have changed the stat line?

    The stat nonsense is the same nonsense that ran Martin out of town – yet when you watched the tape what you saw was a guy getting hit consistently behind the line of scrimmage and needing to break 2 or 3 tackles just to pick up -1 yards instead of -5 yards.

    Anywho Jones to my eye looked like an incredibly poor fit for Dirk’s run it up the middle on every first down in the first half offense. To my eye Jones seems like a left-right runner who slashes up the field when there’s any type of opening, much like old Bandit and Buc Gary Anderson.

    That doesn’t mean Jones won’t be a bust, but you don’t throw the guy away either. While I didn’t like the pick in the least, most scouts did have Jones as a 2nd rounder, so he clearly has some talent. It’s a new day for him, so let’s hope he can make people look stupid for doubting him.

  50. 813bucboi Says:


    WASH was a poorly coached game as well….and the bears….

    but i agree with you tho….the lack of coaching was a major factor….


  51. Cobraboy Says:

    Like Martin before him, Jones was poorly used last season.

    Every time he got in the game the ball game his way. Think DC’s didn’t notice it?

  52. Eric Says:

    hard for me to believe it was all coaching.

    I’ve never seen a guy get destroyed behind the line like Jones. Almost every time he touched the ball.

    We either have a pathetic oline, pathetic running back, or for some reason the play was telegraphed each time.

  53. Jonathan Lipnicki Says:

    Of course Licht Weight isn’t giving up on yet another botched 2nd round pick of his…even if nobodys like myself could see that Jones was a bust in the making from very early on. They’ll probably try and force Jones on the field at some point. He’s this decade’s Dexter (the diminutive and scared receiver) Jackson.