RoJo = Winning?

June 27th, 2019

Key to historic offense.

There is more than ample data to demonstrate you cannot run to win in today’s NFL.

Of course, the neanderthals still stuck in 1960s high school football who don’t consider quarterbacks any more valuable than a right guard or a free safety consider this heresy.

That doesn’t mean running backs have no value.

Adam Rank of seems to believe if Bucco Bruce Arians can get invisible Ronald Jones to play anywhere near his talent, it could be a huge boost to the Bucs.

Run the football? Ronald Jones was a huge disappointment as a rookie in 2018. Like biting into what you think is a chocolate chip cookie, only to realize it’s raisin disappointment. I thought the guy could be the next Jamaal Charles. Missed on that one so far. But here is my thing. The Bucs didn’t draft a running back this year. So perhaps the Bucs are big believers still in Jones and Peyton Barber. I mean, if Arians can turn Jones into Tampa’s version of David Johnson, I’m going to go ahead and get Arians a gold Kangol for the Hall of Fame.

This right here may be the tipping point between the Bucs having a dangerous offense and just a good one-dimensional offense.

Last year the Bucs passed the ball very well. But how bad was the running attack? Teams didn’t respect it and still, with defenses keying on the pass, running backs couldn’t take advantage. That’s downright p!ss poor.

No, Joe doesn’t expect much from hard-working Peyton Barber. As Joe said during a recent taping of the internationally popular “Ira Kaufman Podcast,” Barber reminds Joe of his grandmother’s sewing machine — a lot of action, a lot of movement, but it doesn’t go anywhere. The name of the game is production, not effort (though effort is always welcome).

If somehow the Bucs can find what ails RoJo and turn him around, the Bucs could be looking at a very special offense this fall.

37 Responses to “RoJo = Winning?”

  1. Magadude Says:

    It would be GREAT for RoJo to find something he never showed last year, and it would also seem unusual for a guy who lacks one year to suddenly break out behind the same O line. It would be even better if he can block to keep Winston upright. I’m ready to just tag Barber as the latest Ernest Graham. Good teammate, great effort, reliable for a few yards, etc. Right now, I tend to expet Ellington may be the best bet and Ogunbawale as maybe another nice surprise. Nothaving a clear #1 going into camp is a little troubling.

  2. SenileSenior Says:

    RoJo was highly rated by the professionals and the “experts” that I studied before the 2018 draft. (People like me are totally dependent on them because we do not spend the majority of our conscious hours watching college football during the Fall in preparation for the drafts.) He was rated 3rd best after Saquon Barkley and Derrius Guice and ahead of the likes of Kerryon Johnson, Sony Michel, Rashad Penny and Nick Chubb by Lindy’s Sports for example.

    Somewhere in my research I acquired the notion that he had some purported flaw according to his coach which he was told about during his previous season. I don’t remember the specifics. He worked hard to correct whatever it was and ended up starting his last year and averaging 6.1 yards per pop. That said much about him to me. I was happy when he was drafted by you know who.

    Under the caption ‘Weaknesses’ Lindy’s said “Tall and lean muscled. Lacks move-the-pile-power. Not a consistent tackle-breaker unless his speed is shifted in high gear. Must improve his tempo and patience as an inside runner to better set up blocks.” Very prophetic in my thinking.

    I understand that our new coaching staff has had him building his calf muscles and other related muscles to help him out since they got hold of him earlier this year. Why didn’t the previous guys do this? Do you suppose we might just have better coaches now?

    It gives me some hope that RoJo might become a solid contributor and take some of the load off Barber this year. I’ve also seen reports during the OTAs that indicate he has improved in his catching from out of the backfield. Do you suppose BA is not just blowing hot air after all?
    Go Bucs!!!

  3. Bucsfanman Says:

    We threw the ball all over the yard and got what? A participation trophy!
    No run-game, no playoffs. Period. You can white-wash it all you want Joe. You have to have balance. Without digging up the stats, I’d bet money that every team in the playoffs was in the top 15 in rushing. I know for a FACT that the Rams and Patriots were top 5.
    But wtfdik?!

  4. dmatt Says:

    I blame Litch n Koetter for not preparing this young man for the nfl. They put him in a canoe with no paddles in the water. Entering the league at the young age of 20, he should’ve been assigned a mentor or others should have taken him under their wings. He was clueless n gullible as folks beat this kid down mentally. Well, in comes BA n the A team to the rescue. I understand the reason BA didn’t go after a rb n the draft.We have one n his name is RoJo n the ATeam will get his MoJo back. I place more blame on the coaches rather than this kid.

  5. Clw JB Says:

    Didn’t he come out as a Jr and was 20 when drafted? Let the kid mature a bit and he will be just fine

  6. TDTB Says:

    Winston has been awful at times butalways flashes talent and potential. Rojo has never flashed. Not in practice, not in pre-season and not in the regular season. I just don’t see a 180 coming.

  7. KingBuc17 Says:

    If Arians can really turn this thing around that would be great! Go Bucs, Rojo and Barber will do just enough in the running game to take care of the team. Winston is the key if he can attack and have a running game, that would be awesome. Defense of course has to improve.

  8. Says:

    “Running can’t win in today’s NFL” have you watched the Patriots play the last 3-4 years!? Come on Joe….

  9. SenileSenior Says:

    It would be the GM’s responsibility to come down on the HC if he saw that his staff was not coaching up the players as they should. Might be one of Licht’s flaws. Might not.

    We will never know what goes on behind closed doors at one Buc Place unless someone “leaks” to an insider who in turn reports it. So far I’ve seen no such report.

    Go Bucs!!!

  10. BucEmUp Says:

    I commented on this on a different thread last night. Bucs were in the bottom.of the league in pass attempts to their rbs. Defense knew when the rbs rolled out they didnt need to cover them and could blitz. They knew Koetter wouldnt trust rojo to.block so they blitzed every time he was in the game. The Bucs run game was also behind the eight ball playing with a 23 point deficit.

    All.of the good running teams included their backs heavily in the passing game as their bread and butter. It gices the defense another element to worry about..Fixing the bucs run easy and common sense which is why Arians is here and Koetter/clueless Smitty are gone

  11. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Your post got me thinking, so I looked at the heights and
    weights of a few well known backs and at 208 lbs he is one of the lightest.
    He needs to pack on 10 to 15 lbs. of muscle ,IMO Doug martin was a similar weight and the pounding he received in his better years was followed by injury plagued seasons.
    Christian McCaffrey is one back who worked on his weight in the off season.
    His new guns went viral.

  12. Morgus the Magnificent Says:

    Didn’t BA say RBs are interchangeable ?

  13. Defense Rules Says:

    SenileSenior … Enjoyed reading that post; looks to be right in-line with some of the things I’d read leading up to the draft, albeit MAYBE a bit more positive? Can’t remember anyone listing RoJo in front of Sony Michel for instance. But his POTENTIAL is certainly higher than the PERFORMANCE we saw on the field last year. Age undoubtedly had a lot to do with that, but so did coaching & a crappy OLine IMO.

    Bucsfanman … IMO you hit the nail on the head with “You have to have balance”. And that’s across the board because you simply can’t hide ‘weak links’ in today’s NFL game. Drafting a ‘young Adrian Peterson’ doesn’t compensate for a weak OLine that can’t run-block (not that that’s RoJo BTW). No more than drafting a ‘young Ray Lewis’ for a MLB could compensate for a Secondary that can’t cover (like last year’s group?) or for poor coaching. The concepts of BALANCE and DEPTH have to permeate the whole TEAM. Neither have described the Bucs over this past decade (or longer). HOPEFULLY we’re closer to turning that corner.

    Magadude … I still expect that BA will add yet another RB to the stable when cuts happen early in Sept. Same thing with an OLineman. Who knows, maybe even 2. We obviously can’t afford to pay top dollar for anyone, but when guys get cut prior to season start I’d expect most would be willing to play for less, just to PLAY rather than sit out a year (or more).

  14. Pete I Says:

    “Barber reminds Joe of his grandmother’s sewing machine — a lot of action, a lot of moment, but it doesn’t go anywhere.”

    One of the best lines ever. I too remember being awed by my mother’s sewing machine.

    But of course with a sewing machine you can create something special, don’t see Barber at this point doing that either.

  15. Pete I Says:

    Assume you meant “movement” not moment with regards to the sewing machine.

  16. Bob in Valrico Says:

    If we can’t get the screen game going with at least the left side of O line and new coaching, then we got problems. I sometimes wonder if our backs would do better if passes were thrown in front of them. Jameis places the ball sometimes
    in a way that back has to turn to field the ball and then turn upfield.

  17. Brandon Says:

    Bob, it’s a LISTED weight. He could weigh 250 for all we know. His listed weight will not change. FYI. Cadillac Williams had a listed weight of 217 but he never played anywhere close to that. He weighed 205 for the majority of his career. Cameron Brate has a listed weight of 235 and having seen him in person a few times I know that he is far closer to 250. Last thing, football is about speed first and foremost. Weight doesn’t matter to anybody except the fans reading the rosters at home. Rojo still weighs more than LeSean McCoy, Jamaal Charles, Philip Lindsey, Barry Sanders, Warrick Dunn, and many others.

  18. BringBucsBack Says:

    Rank is right. It’s extremely disappointing finding out that those raisins are only chocolate-chips imposters!

    All of this Rojo build up is going to make the crash even harder. I want to believe but, he did NOTHING last year. I’m starting to feel set-up. Hope I’m dead-wrong!

  19. Mr. Lucky Says:

    Since we are dreaming about things we want and not the way things actually are:

    Wouldn’t it be nice if Jameis threw for 4 TD’s every game?

    Wouldn’t it be nice if the special teams lived up to their potential and caused 3 turnovers every game?

    Wouldn’t it be nice if the defense lived up to their potential and held opposing teams to 24 points or less?

    “If ifs and buts were candy and nuts what a wonderful christmas it would be.”

  20. Mr. Lucky Says:


    Hey just be glad that are raisins and not something else like rabbit turds

  21. Buc4evr Says:

    Just keep ignoring the most pathetic run blocking O-line in the NFL and focus on the running backs. No team can have an effective running game when their RB’s can’t even get to the first level and worse yet can’t even take two steps before getting wrapped up in the backfield.

  22. AlteredEgo Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    I still think RoJo can become a big play maker…he is not a banger and needs a hole to run through, once past the LOS his game begins…

  23. Billy_43 Says:

    TDTB says he hasn’t flashed in Practice.

    Have you been there?
    I know for a fact he HAS.

  24. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Most of our problems with our talent is between the ears…..namely, Rojo, Winston, Spence, VH3, D. Smith, Kickers…..
    There is absolutely no question the talent is there with all of them.

    Hopefully, our new coaches can take care of that….

  25. Conte Piscatelli Says:

    Going to disagree about the running thing, the saints, Panthers and falcons all have potent running games, but my best example is the Baltimore Ravens. They practically ran the wing T last year and made the playoffs. Truth is teams are built to stop the pass these days, and are very susceptible to being run all over with their 6 DBS and undersized lbs and des. Makes what our team did last year even worse.

  26. Defense Rules Says:

    Conte … “Makes what our team did last year even worse.” Bucs couldn’t run the ball on offense & couldn’t stop the run on defense. So yes, it was BAAAD. BUT … at least on defense we’ve made some changes that SHOULD help us be better at run defense (Suh vs McCoy, White vs Kwon, etc). BA’s history is that he runs the ball 40-45% of the plays, as opposed to Koetter who didn’t run the ball nearly as much, and when he did it was horribly predictable. I tend to think that our rushing yardage will improve this year, but I’m still not convinced however that we have the horses to punch it into the end zone more often rushing. You never know though.

  27. 813bucboi Says:


    i agree….

    GO BUCS!!!!

  28. Barbosa Says:

    When our offense is within the 5 yard line, first and goal , will the O line push or get pushed? That’s what I can’t wait to see

  29. Buc4evr Says:

    Agree Barbosa, that’s the true test, as well as 3rd and 2 and 4th and 1.

  30. Alanbucsfan Says:

    “There is more than ample data to demonstrate you cannot run to win in today’s NFL” -Joe

    No statement could be more opposite from reality.

    In 11 playoff games last year:
    Winner had over 100 yds rushing in 8 of the wins
    Loser never rushed for 100 yds and had less than 50 yds rushing in 8 of the 11 playoff losses.

    Sometimes perception is deception.

  31. FrankPillow Says:

    Here’s the good news- in a few short weeks we’ll see the truth about RoJo’s development. It’s safe to say that both Barber and RoJo suffered from a lousy run-scheme…made even more lousy b/c the D was putrid and we consistently playing from +2 scores behind before halftime.

  32. Miller5252 Says:

    I’m throwing out the Seahawks name for winning with a run game. They where 1 rush away to back to back Super Bowls. Last year went back to run first team and went a lot further then a lot of people picked them at the beginning of the year. That team lost 80% of its talent on defense and with running the ball gave every team they played a run for their money. Running doesn’t sell tickets but it sure takes a lot weight of the passing game and gives the defense the rest it needs to scheme and be 100% ready to get after the other team.

  33. John F Ensch Says:

    I think Jones is afraid of contact and will never be an NFL running back.

  34. 74 Bucs fan Says:

    When I could guess with about 90% accuracy that we were going to run the ball, I’m damn sure the D could too. Koetter refused to put Rojo in because he couldn’t block, and killed the kids confidence. Let BA show us what he can do with Rojo.

    Someone mentioned Ernest Graham. A Gator fan friend said to me back in the day – “you need 5 yards, Ernest Graham will get you 5 yards. You need 15 yards, Ernest Graham will get you 5 yards”. Lol

  35. SenileSenior Says:

    Defense Rules

    You are right. Lindy’s does there magazine version very early in the year before the Combine. By the time it is over and a we are only a few weeks before the draft there is a different rough consensus. By the actual draft RoJo may have been projected like the 5th or 6th best RB. of course individual pundits can be found who would have rated him much lower than that.

    Go Bucs!!!

  36. BigMacAttack Says:

    Man we’ve beat this horse to death. It was everybody’s fault. Some more than others. Glad it’s over. Same line and backs, very questionable to start.

  37. Jean Lafitte Says:

    dead horse = Bucs run blocking

    sorta left the imagined taste of roadkill in my mouth