No Longer Invisible

May 22nd, 2019

Last year Bucs running back Ronald Jones was like the Invisible Man. You knew he was on the team (the roster told you so) but you almost never saw him make any sort of a positive play, practice or in a game.

This year, Joe watched the first practice of underwear football and saw Jones catch a short pass, flip on the jets, and shoot through the defense.

Ah, ha! So that’s the speedy running back from USC the Bucs drafted last year, eh?

Even yesterday after underwear football practice, head coach Bucco Bruce Arians shared that Jones is actually visible, as compared to the Invisible Man he was as a rookie.

“Watching the film last year, he had no chances,” Arians said. “You could have put nobody up there and let him run the ball, that’s about what it was like. So, yeah he’s got a ton of talent and [running backs coach] Todd McNair’s done a great job with him.”

Joe can’t understand how a guy was such a good college runner, such a highly-rated player coming out of college, and yet the dude looked like someone pulled out of a tailgate party at the Den of Depression, he was so bad.

Look, camp meat you expect to be invisible, not a second-round draft pick from a powerhouse program on the west coast.

Could Dirk Koetter’s running schemes (remember, he’s one of those who subscribes to the theory that running backs need to block first and run second) were so bad that Jones was just lost in the wash?

62 Responses to “No Longer Invisible”

  1. Eric Says:

    If you wanted to find him look behind the line of scrimmage.

    He just has to be way better than that

  2. Race to 10 Says:

    Imagine that coach isn’t just a title. Dirk kotter is trash and I hope he runs that same style offense we are so familiar with

  3. 813bucboi Says:

    the running scheme and run blocking scheme was trash combined with predictable play calling…..

    plus, dirk didnt have time to develop a young runner with his a$$ on the griddle…..

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  4. TexBuc Says:

    koetter did the same thing to Devante Freeman’s rookie season with the Falcons. Next Koetter leaves and Freeman looks like the next great RB.

    Trends DO tell a story.

  5. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Watch his USC highlights…..he lacks quick feet in small spaces, takes him a while to get going, runs upright. There’s a reason he was one of the last backs taken among the top guys. He is not an NFL running back and is basically a poor man’s Darren McFadden.

  6. Tbbucs3 Says:

    But let’s keep blaming Koetter……

  7. Kobe Faker Says:

    “Our 2017 Kenny Bell participation award winner has hell alot more to do to get out of Kobe Fakers doghouse…

    Beating Alex Cappa for that award was not an easy feat”

    Kobe Faker

  8. wausa Says:

    I blame Koetter for a lot, because he did an awful job as head coach
    He kept Mike Smith as DC while the Bucs had the worst three years in NFL history on defense. He was terrible at clock management. He had no running game, no discipline and the special teams play over the last three years were atrocious.

  9. Cobraboy Says:

    The problem was Koetter, not Jones.

    Koetter’s #1 and overriding criteria for a RB to play in his offense was they HAD to block, period, end of discussion.

    I don’t think Jones did much blocking at SoCal. He was too busy racking up big yards carrying the football. His film was seriously impressive.

    So because Jones is not a blocking kind of guy…yet…he rode pine, and when Koetter put him in a game to satisfy Licht or the Glazers, the entire football planet knew he was getting the ball…and defended accordingly.

    No one can tell me Jaquizz Rodgers was a better RB than Ron Jones. Oh, excepy Koetter. Rodgers could block, and that’s all that matteres to Koetter.

    I expect Jones to have an eye-popping breakout year. He has the skilz to be really, really good.

  10. Bruce Blahak Says:

    Let’s celebrate those who are invisible >> Batman McSofty!!!! great times in Bucland!

  11. gilhealy Says:

    Tbbucs3, Rojo was the third RB taken. Only Barkley and Guice were taken before him. But, carry on…

  12. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Joe, the answer to both of your questions is yes and yes.

  13. Tbbucs3 Says:


    So that means he’s not a bust then? Still a dud regardless of where he was taken.

  14. SOEbuc Says:

    He wasn’t invisible Joe. He had two stone hands the size of Mount St. Helens. Hoping that has something he’s been working on in the offseason.

    And I really enjoyed hearing about Shaun Wilson making some nice plays in the “Just About Everything Jameis Winston Did At Practice Yesterday” article. Was afraid he might be closer to the cut list coming off IR with a totally different staff. I think Wilson could be a great running/receiving starting RB if he got a chance and the time.

  15. Stonedbuc Says:

    Has Koetter ever had a running game in the top 20?

  16. rrsrq Says:

    @ gilhealy, Nick Chubb, Sony Michel and Rashad Penny was taken before ROJO, Guice was taken after ROJO.

    I just believe Arians and McNair have set the tone in the RB room, the whole locker room culture is being set, if you wanna play. Everybody has talent, but talent and will, go a long way with BA

  17. Tbbucs3 Says:

    And your wrong BTW, Gilhealy


    We’re all drafted before Ronald Jones….Should of drafted Kerryon Johnson.

  18. Bucsneedhelp Says:

    Barber gained over 800 yards Jones 40 something enough said.

  19. Lord Cornelius Says:

    “Joe can’t understand how a guy was such a good college runner, such a highly-rated player coming out of college, and yet the dude looked like someone pulled out of a tailgate party at the Den of Depression, he was so bad.”

    IMO it’s because you didn’t go psycho like Lord Cornelius and watch every snap to account for the blocking and where Rojo went wrong or not wrong, and then compared that to his USC tape.

    Even without watching tape we know that more than 100% of Rojo’s yards last year came after contact. That’s insane when the league average is closer to like 50%.

    With watching tape you will see every time he came in the game, the D basically keyed on him because Koetter didn’t trust him in pass pro and everyone seemed to know it.

    And really in the end the dude had the worst sample size of any highly drafted RB I can remember with it not being due to injury. There are hall of fame RBs who have plenty of game logs with 20 carries for around 50 yards. Not often but it sure happens, especially when you consider our run game in general was bad regardless of RB.

    And he’s the type of RB where 1 run basically can double his YPC at any moment. He had no big runs though and no opportunity for a big run with his snaps.

    Here’s to hoping this is not a Kenny Bell mirage lol.

  20. Rob Says:

    When the story is told, I predict that we’ll look back on all of this commentary and realize that coaching was to blame with Koetter. Early days with Arians, but the level of confidence and quality of coaching seems like light years ahead of Koetter’s regime. It was deceiving because Koetter knows how to be explosive in the passing game, but not balanced or putting players in the best position to be successful. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Rojo become an ‘out of nowhere’ success story this year. I think we’re going to see a lot of that in 2019….draft picks, free agent pickups no one ever heard of. Arians infuses a team with confidence. He believes in his players and brings out the best in them. Time will tell, but i’m thinking we surprise a lot of teams this year. Go Bucs!!!

  21. Shayno Says:

    I still believe in Rojo! He’s had 23 career carries for goodness sake. Guys get more then that in a single game!

    Probably few who will admit it at this point but I remember many, myself included, who had him as a top target in that draft class. He was electric in college, looked like Jamal Charles 2.0

    And then the season happened and I remember like the first 4 games I felt so bad for the guy. Virtually every carry got blown up behind the line. Ya you can argue he should have made something happen on a couple of them but I’m not going to fault him too much remembering the film.  And then either his first or second target was a drop and out came the narrative that he’s an awful pass catcher. Shortly after the fans and coaching staff soured on him and he barely got touches the rest of the year. 

    But he’s 21 years old with 23 career attempts. He has the talent, he has the speed. He needs the confidence. And I’m hopefully Bruce can give it to him. I know he has a certain approach with Jameis to not have him looking over his shoulder and all that. Hopefully he can restore some confidence to Rojo and we can see that USC running back that we took with the 38th pick.

  22. Bucsfanman Says:

    There’s only so much blame you can put on coaching, in all fairness. A “talented” RB, regardless of the situation, will flash at some point. We did not witness that.
    Can he be that guy? Man I hope so but, Rojo (not coaching)has to prove that on the field.

  23. Eric Says:

    Where’s Kareem Huggins when you need him.

  24. Cobraboy Says:

    @Rob: fully agree.

    I don’t think casual fans understand how bad the last coaching staff was.

    Koetter did ONE thing well: explosive passing game. He did that well.

    That’s it.

  25. SOEbuc Says:


    Last night I was talking to the Lord. He said he has warshed away all my sins and tells me Benenoch will be NFL turn around player of the year.

  26. SOEbuc Says:


    “There’s only so much blame you can put on coaching, in all fairness.”

    Far from true when Koetter only had one running play. It’s called “LOY #1.” Barber could have easily had 1,000 yards on the ground with more diverse run calls.

  27. Lord Cornelius Says:

    “A “talented” RB, regardless of the situation, will flash at some point.”

    Yeah if they are given a chance. 23 carries in 16 games isn’t much of a sample size, especially when we know ALL his yards came after contact on those 23 carries (i.e. not ONE well blocked run for potential of a big gain).

  28. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    thought arians just said this is a well coached disciplined offensive unit?

  29. LakeLand Says:

    The same fans bashing Dirk Koetter are the exact same ones, that were praising him and Mike Smith after Lovie was fired.

    Should I go into the JBF archives?

  30. Bucsfanman Says:

    Lord C. & SOE- While I agree in principle that coaching and play-calling did not lend to any level of success, a good RB would have shown us something. What I mean is a play where you go, “Wow, that’s why we drafted him in the 2nd!”. It doesn’t have to be a long run. Just a brief glimpse of their talent.
    And, while I firmly agree that our run-blocking was in a word, “awful,” Rojo is supposed to have the speed to avoid tacklers. Again, it doesn’t have to be a long run. We didn’t see it.
    Rojo struggled. He struggled in practice and he struggled in preseason against back-ups. No, 23 carries is not a lot, but, given his struggles how much do you give him?
    We have to give him the benefit of the doubt, and I will. I’m just saying that it is up to him to produce on the field.

  31. BucEmUp Says:

    Eric he was hit as the ball was being handed off to him almost every time..Saquon barkely wouldn’t get anywhere like that….be realistic

  32. SCBucsFan Says:

    LakeLand you should go into the JBF archives. And stay there.

  33. Bobby M. Says:

    Gruden ran his scheme which didn’t suit Alstott all that well….We had a defense capable of a Super Bowl but Gruden provided the offense to take us over the top. Coaches are going to stick with what made them successful….Koetter has substantial success with many different types of backs at the highest level. Rojo had ZERO success/experience in the NFL. On top of that there was talk Rojo wasnt’ picking up the playbook….didn’t understand blocking assignments and had “maturity issues”. Maybe Licht should have drafted a RB that fit Koetter’s scheme vs thinking the coach should taylor every angle of the offense and defense to the random fantasies of the GM. How many players has Licht drafted that had to be converted to new positions….only to be switched back to old positions? It really makes no sense how Licht has crafted this roster.

  34. Lord Cornelius Says:

    “It doesn’t have to be a long run. Just a brief glimpse of their talent.”

    Either his 1st or 2nd run of preseason, he had a jump cut on a run that should have been a loss and got 5 yards. Not even well blocked but a glimpse of his ability to run well between tackles and make something out of nothing.

    I agree he definitely struggled / seemed tentative. Confidence is big. And it’s up to him in the end. I just hated how his rookie year was managed. But if he didn’t have a grasp of hte playbook that’s on him.

    GO BUCS!

  35. LakeLand Says:

    These same fans will be calling for Bruce Arians job before the 2020

  36. LakeLand Says:

    These so-called Bucs fans will be calling for Bruce Arians job
    Before the 2020 season

    I guaranteed it

    Just look at their pathetic history

  37. Bucsfanman Says:

    Lord C.- It is to all our benefit that he “show out” this year. I’m sure that you’re rooting for him as well.
    In the end, it is my belief that coaching will vastly improve the production of some of these players by putting them in position to succeed.

  38. Darin Says:

    Stop whining. Hindsight is 20/20. Should coulda drafted alot of different guys who played better in one season. A real coaching staff is in town now. This season will tell us who is who. Plus my guess is RoJo did much better at the RB position than you did last year.

  39. SOEbuc Says:

    I’m assuming RoJo worked his butt off in the offseason. I’m excited to possibly see a turn around this year.

    I feel bad for him because he literally never lined up in an eye formation (and got the ball). The Koetter “LOY #1” was RoJo on the left of Jameis in the shotgun, handed the ball off, and a line shift to the right behind Benenoch (worst run blocker in the NFL) and Dotson (old as dust). Not to mention every opponent knew this was our only RoJo run play, also.


  40. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Coaching had a lot to do with Rojo’s failures but we are still ignoring the second part – terrible run blocking on the right side. Both Caleb Benenoch and Demar Dotson suck at bending their knees. Hopefully this is not the same case with Alex Cappa. Still hoping to address both positions once other teams cut their roster to 53.

  41. Destinjohnny Says:

    Love how he catches the ball………….

  42. Tbbucs3 Says:


    Not a good sign when you have to compare ROJOs rookie season to Bucs fans off the street.

  43. joestang Says:

    everybody blaming poor coaching. how about poor player selection by a helpless GM. If you think this coaching staff is gonna coach this group to win 10+ games you;re dreaming.

  44. Kobe Faker Says:

    “This defense will be 1 of the worst statistically in the last 40 years

    we will have 7 games of over 40pts given up

    too many holes, newbs and lack of talent

    LVD and Devin Smith are the only 2 players that can start in 50% of the NFL teams

    Who put this team together?


    Kobe Faker

  45. JabooBuc Says:

    Call it bad luck or whatever but I found it really hard to judge RoJo last year. It seemed like every time he was handed the ball he was being hit in the backfield which BA obviously noticed at well. I can’t think of any RB that would perform well under those circumstances other than maybe Barry Sanders

  46. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    I know you can look at Lakeland’s posts in the archives and he has been critical of the management and the way this team has been put together for 3 years and he along with myself and maybe a few others have been ridiculed saying that licht is such a great GM…the bucs are still headed for 5-11 and its a sad state of affairs in buc land

  47. Lord Cornelius Says:


    I think following the Bucs has pushed those type of crazy bad expectations.

    I just don’t see why we’d think the defensive talent and staff was somehow way better last year than this year:

    biggest losses = JPP / McCoy / Kwon / Vinny Curry / Grimes I guess?

    replacements =

    Suh (upgrade over McCoy)
    White (major upgrade over Kwon)
    Nelson (should replace Curry and potential upgrade)

    Shaq Barret – downgrade from JPP big time – so far only big loss.

    Grimes was terrible last year but let’s just call him an even swap with either VHIII (who didn’t play last year basically) or Bunting.

    Then add in Kevin Minter / Buccanon + Mike Edwards & Jamal Dean

    On paper I don’t see how we haven’t upgraded at basically every level. That’s before considering any potential youthful developments across a bunch of young players.

    i.e. Vea year 2 / Justin Evans year 3 / etc

  48. Oneyed buc Says:

    Bad scouting job, rojo has a slow first step that’s not good for a speed back. Doesn’t have any power and got a pair of bricks for hands. You just can’t look at his stats at USC and expect him to be OJ, it doesn’t work like that.

  49. gilhealy Says:

    I stand corrected. I was wrong regarding Rojo’s draft status. Irregardless, to label someone a bust after 23 carries is at best, nonsensical. Give the kid a chance. Or don’t, whatever. I don’t think he gives a hind tit what anyone here thinks. He’s done pretty good for himself so far. I like his chances.

  50. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    “Watching the film last year, he had no chances,” Arians said.

    Gee…where have we read that before?

    J0E said, “Could Dirk Koetter’s running schemes (remember, he’s one of those who subscribes to the theory that running backs need to block first and run second) were so bad that Jones was just lost in the wash?”

    I don’t think that is it at all. I think it was Dirk’s uncompromising loyalty, which he demonstrated time and time again. He was committed to Barber. Period.

  51. Nick2 Says:

    Oneyed buc you sound like Dirk Koetter. Those times are over Bruce Arians will revive this kids career because he values the running game plain and simple. The guy has historic stats for a USC running back and please don’t tell me how the PAC10 doesn’t have defenses. Some of the best defenders in the country come from the PAC10. So unless your a pro scout save the “you cant looks at his stats at USC.” The kid has more rushing touchdowns than OJ Simpson, Ricky Bell and Reggie Bush. Also you don’t run a 4.48 40 yard dash with a “slow first step.” It just doesn’t happen. How about this, no emphasis on the run game = poor up front blocking= slow first step. Yes Peyton sledgehammered for yardage but Rojo never stood a chance with Koetter.

  52. SOEbuc Says:

    Joe how many ICan’ posters can there possibly be on JBF? Apparently tons! Idiots think all he does is do a fantasy football draft.

    He just put together this coaching staff stacked with good coaches. It’s not just Arians makes a late night phone call to these guys and they jump on board. Especially to a team like the Bucs.

    True fans aren’t downers that cry in May about the GM that will be here at least one more year.

    Even the other Licht hater doesn’t want to listen to you hating on Licht. Shut up.

  53. SOEbuc Says:


    “Both Caleb Benenoch and Demar Dotson suck at bending their knees. Hopefully this is not the same case with Alex Cappa.”

    Very likely the same case with Cappa. Him and Benenoch are both OT.

  54. T REX Says:

    Need to see it on the field. Not in 7 on 7 drills with no pads. LOL. Dumbest fans around.

  55. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Man I wish fans had this much patience with Jameis as they do with ROJO. Even ROJOs average 4.5 speed doesn’t translate on the field as he has no quick feet in small spaces and takes forever to reach full speed. That’s why 40 times are almost irrelevant for running backs because some 4.6 backs like Bell are quick to the OOS which is what ROJO lacks…bigtime. Even slow Doug Martin has shifty feet.

  56. Tbbucs3 Says:


  57. Oneyed buc Says:

    Nick 2 time will tell.

  58. Dapostman Says:

    RoJo in 2018 was the Todd Gurley of 2016. Gurley received a new coach and scheme in 2017 and now Todd Gurley is one of the top backs in the game. RoJo will improve in 2019. Just depends on how much.

  59. 813bucboi Says:


    i agree…

    GO BUCS!!!!

  60. BucsBall80 Says:

    Your correct Eruc he dose need to be better. And he will be. How many carries did he get agon.30? Or something. His had wasent in it. Je had no confidence in his caoch, his oline and his self. Plus the coaches sucked. I dont think he liked being away from friends and family. He will come around. He is the least of my worries.

  61. Nprbuc Says:

    I’m in Lord Cs camp on this one. We never got to see what we had or didn’t have in Rojo. This will be his prove it year. With real coaching on the offensive line, maybe, just maybe he will get a hand off without a defensive lineman fighting for the ball with him! How can anyone, even Gayle Sayers, turn the ball up field with 600 libs of meat hanging on you? Yeah he dropped a dump pass. Big deal. A rook dropping a pass. Give me a break! We have no idea what this team is going to look like yet. Ariens seems to be high on the kid. Good enough for me at this point. I am excited to see what and who we actually put on the field in a few months. GO BUCS!

  62. White Tiger Says:

    C’mon, you act like it defies belief that a pretty good college back “disappears” after being drafted in round 2… That doesn’t happen…NO modern scouting department whiff’s that badly on a running back.

    …maybe it’s because he pushed the PED’s one cycle too far in his senior season (to get drafted), then had to cycle off after signing that rookie contract…

    If so, you guys should be rewarded with a stunning (for a while) turn around “NOBODY” saw coming (well, maybe ONE somebody MAY have seen it coming).


    It’s a familiar story, looks like a duck, plays like a duck…

    Maybe it’s a duck.

    The good thing is, Arians offense really only needs a competent back.

    It’ll probably be fine.