Ronald Jones’ “Anxiety”

June 17th, 2019

Concerning revelation.

This is something you never want to read about an NFL player much less a running back.

Could the Bucs have a headcase on their hands in the backfield? This jolted Joe this morning more than downing his cup of Black Rifle AK coffee reading a quote delivered by Eduardo A. Encina of the Tampa Bay Times. Encina, in a story on Bucs’ running back Ronald Jones, quoted Bucs’ running backs coach Todd McNair dropping the word “anxiety” when discussing Jones.

“He was drafted where he was drafted for a reason,” McNair said. “He’s got a wealth of talent. Our goal is to take the anxiety away from him, take the expectations off him. Let just focus and make this thing small. And it seems to be paying off. He’s working hard, and he’s going to keep working hard.”

Good grief! Now Joe’s not trying to make light in any way if a player has personal issues. But man, this is the very last thing you want to read about a running back.

Doesn’t a team want a running back who craves attacking a defense? A fearless, bold personality who wants the ball and believes he can take it to the house whenever he touches the ball, or at least believes he can get past a tackler or two?

This raises all sorts of red flags for Joe. And it begs two important questions:

1. Did the Bucs, in their evaluation and interview process when Jones was coming out of USC, completely drop the ball in a psychological analysis of Jones?

2. Did the previous coaching staff screw with Jones’ head that badly?

Having a second-round pick of a running back dealing with an anxiety issue is more than a little bit concerning.

Also, Joe has to wag his finger at McNair. Joe doesn’t give a rat’s rear end if a guy is working hard. That should be the bare minimum prerequisite for any professional athlete.

Can we please stop with this Harry High School nonsense that a player is working hard? Joe can Google dozens of local plumbers that work hard but Joe sure as hell wouldn’t sign them to play running back for the Bucs (though that might be an upgrade come to think of it).

As former Bucs coach Dirk Koetter famously said often, the NFL is a production league. It isn’t about working hard, it is about production.

Joe doesn’t give a damn if a player on his day off doesn’t lift anything more than a cold beer and lays on the couch all day smoking a pack of Marlboros, so long as he produces.

76 Responses to “Ronald Jones’ “Anxiety””

  1. Ken Says:

    The single biggest problem this team has had over the last 10+ years has been the appalling mental weakness of the players. The slightest hint of an obstacle and they just fall to pieces psychologically.

  2. lewis Says:

    Former coach could not understand how to get anything out of his players

  3. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Sounds like

    1. Yes. Hardcore. Didn’t learn from ASJ Gump?
    2. Yes as well. Horrific development and usage.

  4. lewis Says:

    Joe whats your issue change your culture its one bad story after another

  5. Joe Says:

    Joe whats your issue change your culture its one bad story after another

    The Bucs have lost 22 games the past two season. Too many high draft choices have been invisible.

    “Bad story after another”

    Sorry, but Joe’s not a fiction writer.

  6. OneBuc Says:

    Yea this story is such a non story, it’s not like he can’t overcome anxiety

  7. Chesapeake Bucco Says:

    Man, if you never suffered from anxiety, then you are being unfair. That does not necessarily equate to weak. And I suspect what McNair is referring to is that Jones is working hard to rid himself of whatever is causing the anxiety/work through it. I see a big-time over-reaction by you on this one. Relax! Your own anxiety over this way over the top IMHO.

  8. D1 Says:

    He had a few problems his freshman year with adjusting to college life. His maturity level wasn’t quite there . Seems like the same type situation.

    Trojan fans were aware of the issues Rojo had as a freshman. It took him a year to settle in and He was fine.

  9. Maze Says:

    He was 20 years old. What were you up to at 20?

  10. ToesOnTheLine!!! Says:

    Anxiety could also imply he feels like since the O line was not very good at run blocking lady year that he was suffering from anxiety feeling like he had to take it all upon himself to make a play happen? If the alleged immaturity rumors have some truth then he might just need to have some big runs and get some confidence (something similar to what happened to Derrick Henry late last season)? Regardless it’s best to see how things play out before going into panic (yet).

  11. buc53 Says:

    Jesus–the man mentions the word “anxiety,” and Joe turns it into a full blown psychological disorder and readers use it as demonstrable proof that all contemporary players are mentally weak. Gimme a break.

    I can’t wait until the season starts and there’s valid things to read about…

  12. Billy_43 Says:

    $hit 90% of the free world deals with anxiety.
    Take an O Line that never practiced run blocking and there you have it.

    It was a USE of a word, not defining!!!!!

  13. Jameis Almighty! Says:

    Licht Bust. Firrrre Licht!

  14. Nick2 Says:

    It is what it is. If Koetter isnt there screaming at him for dropping a pass hes good to go.

  15. Cobraboy Says:

    20 years old and he couldn’t block to Koetter’s expectations?

    Not sure that’s the stuff of anxiety, more like “why won’t you let me do what I do best? WTF?”

  16. JA Says:

    In college, Jones played and produced in front of 100,000 fans on a weekly basis, making him nothing less than a superstar.
    Then, as a 20-year old, he finds himself on a poorly coached NFL team that decides he is useless.
    At that age, when adults spend a year driving home your worthlessness, I would tend to think you might start to believe they’re right. A few dropped passes here and tackles for loss there and suddenly the confidence you had the year before is gone.
    I cannot attest to the strength of RJ’s mind. All I do know is that if you did it before there’s no reason to believe you can’t do it again.
    Check his stats. He averaged over six yards a carry in a three year career at USC. I have little doubt that he could be a good NFL running back. The question remains whether he can regain enough confidence to feel the same way …

    Still can’t understand why Dirk refused to play him when they were out of contention and Dirk knew he was headed for the unemployment line. Makes no sense.
    I remember old audio of Jerry Glanville telling Bret Farve (as a Falcon) that he would never see playing time as long as he was coach.
    “Anybody but #4,” he screamed.
    Obviously, Farve ignored the insults, especially when he went to Green Bay. Hope RJ can learn to do the same so all of us can see what he has to offer.

  17. Ndog Says:

    Joe Says:
    June 17th, 2019 at 12:13 pm
    Joe whats your issue change your culture its one bad story after another

    The Bucs have lost 22 games the past two season. Too many high draft choices have been invisible.

    “Bad story after another”

    Sorry, but Joe’s not a fiction writer.

    The Bucs have not lost a game this year and NOW have former 2 time NFL coach of the year as a head coach. If there was ever a time to be positive it is now. You have a choice and you’ve made it. But if you’re wrong be prepared to hear it, not that you care.

  18. Joe Says:


    Let’s stop talking about this non issue until the season starts.

    If this is a non-issue, then explain in detail why Jones’ position coach brought this up?

  19. rrsrq Says:

    New name Ronald “anxious” Jones, it was definitely just a use of words, I doubt that it was some kind of psychological analysis of ROJO state of playing RB for the Bucs. It is a confidence thing, that’s what we continue to hear from people in the building. That could be a result of inadequate front line blocking and getting hit before you can even get started running. I’m anxious to see this year get going

  20. Joe Says:

    The Bucs have not lost a game this year and NOW have former 2 time NFL coach of the year as a head coach. If there was ever a time to be positive it is now. You have a choice and you’ve made it. But if you’re wrong be prepared to hear it, not that you care.

    The Bucs, since 1992, have had two coaches who guided their teams to the Super Bowl. They both busted out with the Bucs.

    If you want Joe to polish a turd — the Bucs are one of the worst teams in the NFL the past decade — and try to spin how this team is a playoff contender, you have stumbled upon the wrong site.

    Some suggest the Bucs have less talent than they had last year. And in Joe’s eyes, this team did little to nothing to address significant holes on the roster.

    Until the Bucs actually demonstrate they are capable of consistently winning will Joe giving the team props for winning. Again, Joe’s not a fiction writer and is not about bank on empty (false?) hope and the Tooth Fairy that this team is a contender.

    The Bucs have it in their power for Joe to change the narrative if they are so insulted.

    If you want to read stories that make you warm and fuzzy and want to hug a teddy bear, is your go-to site. You will be hard-pressed to learn the Bucs even lost a game last year from its stories. There, you will also learn that Alex Cappa is the next John Hannah — just watch!

  21. Ghost of Darrell Henderson Says:

    The only thing worse than a RB that suffers from anxiety is a kicker who admits that he gets so depressed that he can’t get out of bed for months.

    Too bad the league pee tests, a boatload of Xanax could solve their issues.

  22. Joe Says:

    Too bad the league pee tests, a boatload of Xanax could solve their issues.

    Each player goes through psych evals in the draft process. The NFL has done this for years. Of course, there is clear evidence some players have been so well-rehearsed for interviews, they are able to con the shrinks.

  23. ATLBucs Says:

    Doesn’t a team want a running back who craves attacking a defense? A fearless, bold personality who wants the ball and believes he can take it to the house whenever he touches the ball, or at least believes he can get past a tackler or two?

    Perhaps he arrived as you described above but the coaching staff didn’t instill confidence in him or even worse, took away the confidence that he had. The last staff wasn’t so good at coaching but they did a great job of taking away players’ confidence(see Jameis).
    Note how BA began building confidence in Hargreaves before he met him. When he was hired he said “JW is my QB”. And now he has instilled confidence in Jones.
    I don’t know if you noticed or not, Joe but football is 75% mental. For instance Chucky was able to come in and win it all with the same team Dungy had all because of his fiery attitude

  24. Joe Says:

    Perhaps he arrived as you described above but the coaching staff didn’t instill confidence in him or even worse, took away the confidence that he had.

    That’s very, very possible and maybe likely.

    I don’t know if you noticed or not, Joe but football is 75% mental.

    Joe has always said football is 90 percent mental. Yes, really. If a team is mentally prepared, it can beat just about anyone. The rest is execution.

  25. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    If you have never experienced anxiety, you were never a Bucs fan. We live with it, so can Rojo…

  26. Anmlmike Says:

    Honestly Anxiety is not a disease it is a condition which all of us have in some way And it is a thing which can be completely overcome. Looks like Joe should do a bit more research before reacting in such a manner. I am proof that if it is anxiety. With new coping tools and education This can make him STRONGER!

  27. SCBucsFan Says:

    Please. The guy had a horrid rookie season. And player would be anxious returning for his second year. Any player. You took one word out of that sentence and made him a head case.

    When you look for red flags you can see them everywhere you look, which is easy with this team’s history. Sometime though you see what you want and see bad things that aren’t there.

  28. Anonymous Says:

    I agree with D1. He had the same issue as a very young freshman from TX that arrived in CA and was homesick. He got over. I am hoping for the same here

  29. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Big deal, we have a kicker who suffers from depression. A QB groper, a DL who stomped on a OL, a weed smoking CB who might not crack the starting line up. And in the past a TE who had to take a dump while getting a DUI, a serial rapist/chronic masterbater, and Talib. lol a little anxiety never hurt no one.

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

    It was Jason Licht’s anxiety desperate make up pick when Sony Michel was taken ….simple as that !

  31. James Horan Says:

    A constant theme that runs through all the off season analysis of the Bucs is the miserable performance of high draft picks, the offensive line, the defensive backs, and the defense in general. So we continually bash the players, or we bash the GM. To me the blame clearly lies in the coaching. It is the common link to all the issues. Koetter was not ready for the job. He had a weak staff that could not develop players and could not adjust to the skill sets they each brought to the team. It is not even just Koetter, It is having a string of unsuccessful coaches. Each coach bringing in his own “new” ideas. There is no continuity. It appears Arians is just what the doctor ordered. As for LIcht, he is fine. He makes moves and brings in players. He does not coach them. Hopefully with Arian regime (and his successor who is on staff) the Bucs can enter a period of stability at the top. Continuity is what separates the consistent playoff teams from the wannabes. Without it, a team will continue to flounder. Get the Coaching right (check). Get a GM who can bring in personnel to fill the coach’s style (check). Then you are on your way. As for Jones, he was another coaching BLUNDER by Koetter. Arians and staff will bring out the talent that made him a 2nd round choice. The guy has talent. He needs a line to create holes. He needs a scheme to get him the ball in space where his speed can create havoc. Arians is the right coach for Jones and the Bucs.

  32. BucsBandit Says:

    Sorry, Joe, but this has got to be the WORST ‘take’ you’ve ever had based on a quote someone made.

    The odds are very high that this quote is NOT referencing some sort of mental health issue (not that big of a deal if it were). There’s no such thing as “taking away anxiety” from someone if they actually had an Anxiety Disorder.

    I think you’re taking this quote WAYYYY out of context. The use of ‘anxiety’ in that sentence merely seems like he’s referring to him being NERVOUS that he has a lot of expectations on him and the heavy criticism he’s already received from his low yards per carry so far.

    Labeling someone a ‘head case’ over that quote is pretty unreasonable. Labeling someone a ‘head case’ if they DID suffer from an Anxiety Disorder, just means you don’t understand the condition to make such a cruel, blanket statement.

  33. Allbuccedup Says:

    Dewey the bucs are apparently not in the market for good character players that left with Dungy.

  34. Pickgrin Says:

    SCBucsFan Says:
    “You took one word out of that sentence and made him a head case.”

    Pretty much. WTF Joe?

  35. Tnew Says:

    This is easy. Number 2. Koetter and his staff have no business around young RB’s. Remember, their most important task is to be great blockers.

  36. Pickgrin Says:

    Quote was “THE anxiety” – Not “HIS anxiety”…

  37. Tnew Says:

    I don’t agree often with you Bandit but you are 100% here.

  38. pick6 Says:

    my interpretation is “anxiety” not in the clinical sense, but anxiety as in “pressing”. as in feeling like every time he touches the ball he needs to break loose like Chris Johnson in his heyday, and as a result looking like doug martin at his low point

  39. Bnice Says:

    I still love when people bring up how poorly the guys first year was when he only got 23 carries. For all you idiots that like to comment garbage, take a look at devonte freeman under Koetter his first couple of years. He was a nobody. The second Koetter left town, freeman was the #1 running back in the league.

  40. mcruzer Says:

    While I like this site, this has to be the worst piece I have ever read on this site.

  41. Snook Says:

    This could be quite a stretch to run with the word “anxiety” and suggest Jones need a “psychological analysis”.

    Lots of different uses for the word anxiety.

    Let’s not over analyze this. Koetter’s offense sucked for the running game. Pretty easy to predict when we had a running play called last year. Lots of “tells” on our offense if you watched it at all. Its as simple as that as Lovie would say.

  42. ModHairKen Says:

    Are you serious? You’re assuming from that offhand remark that the coach was revealing his mental health diagnosis, as would a doctor, instead of a player being anxious?

    Come on, man. This is how innocent people get unfounded labels. Good thing the coach didn’t say he had a “killer instinct.” You’d be calling Pam Bondi.

  43. JimmyJack Says:

    Of all the questions asked about Ronald Jones the one that never gets asked is Why…..Why did he only get 21 carries last year? There has to be more to his rookie season then meets the eye.

    There is no reason why you draft a Top 5 RB(I think he was one of the top 5 at RB) and not even use the guy. You just don’t see a high RB get drafted then not even given one game. He didn’t get one game with a decent workload. There has to be something behind the scenes IMO. That or the last coach staff is the dumbest of the dumbest.

  44. Buccfan37 Says:

    Jones will improve his game, as simple as that. How could anyone expect anything different?

  45. Buczilla Says:

    I hope that this is an issue that Jones can overcome. Otherwise, we are looking at yet another 2nd round bust picked by Licht. Maybe Light picked Jones against Koetter’s wishes? I’m pretty sure that Koetter preferred Mariota over Winston, so it wouldn’t be a first. It also would be beyond irresponsible if we don’t pick up at least an average running back before the start of the season.

  46. JimmyJack Says:

    I’m sorry but since when is a RB supposed to get 21 carries over a full season and expected to produce? That’s absolute nonsense.

    I honestly don’t care that he didn’t produce. I also don’t care why Watson didn’t produce for the season freaking reason. They didn’t use him!!!!

    The only thing I care about is why they didn’t use him. No RB that’s ever played this game in the history of the league has ever produced when he didn’t get the ball.

    And if Bruce don’t use RoJO guess what? Jones won’t produce again.

  47. diddler Says:

    Jones is too slender to play pro ball and the way JW is going to be throwing to their RBs I’d have anxiety too. Lots of blown up and broken bodies in store for anyone trying to bring in JWs short, high passes over the middle. LB’s going to have a field day against them.

  48. DB55 Says:

    Just a reminder that Adrian Peterson wanted to sign with the Bucs.

  49. Allbuccedup Says:

    Rojo not very fast for a change of pace runner 4.65 at the combine.

  50. doctor_berto Says:

    Drafted a mentally weak, small RB with hands of stone in the beginning of the second…Licht really needs to go

  51. NOSBOS Says:

    Jack,if you can find it go look at Hardknocks Atlanta FOULcons. When sh!ty and dork were there they made the Bucs the #1 motivating factor in their off season program. I recall it distinctly. All the over head projector clips were of Buccaneers players looking quite stupid in the field of play. It was quite peculiar to me considering we hadn’t done anything lately and the aints and kittens were better established at the time but for whatever reason they chose the Bay. Said a lot about the two to me. Then low and behold,they get hired by the Bucs.

  52. Greg Says:

    YES JOE THE BUCS HAVE A PSYCHO IN THE BACKFIELD!!! Its Winston. Why dont you ever hold him to any accountability as apposed to picking apart a 20 year old who had NOWHERE to run last year. At least he has an Uber account.

  53. Buc1987 Says:

    Calm down Joe.

  54. Race to 10 Says:

    Wow Joe way to take the word anxiety out of that entire sentence and call the dude mindset into question. Lol you guys have issues, now a guy has psychological issues because the coaching staff didnt know how to use him? He’s here koetter is gone nuff said. Rhey did not draft a running back for a reason. He doesn’t seem to have issues with performing for this coach hmmm wonder why

  55. GetOverIt Says:

    Zero story. Anxiety is something that everyone experiences in one form or another, especially in new situations. McNair was not reporting a psychological condition. Nothingburger.

  56. Mike Johnson Says:

    Alls I know is..Its time for RB Jones to produce or get off the GD pot..period.
    He was one of the top RB’s taken in the draft. If he does not produce this yr? Sorry Harry, You’s to much weight to carry…..NEXT!

  57. FrankPillow Says:

    There is a story here, but it’s not what most are commenting on…it appears that McNair is implementing a coaching philosophy that is vastly different than Koetter’s. The ‘make this thing small’ approach, coupled with positive reinforcement implies a commitment to developing players/maximizing potential that simply wasn’t a part of how things were run before.

  58. martinii Says:

    If you are in any way suggesting that “Anxiety.” as defined in the DSM-V, a universal guide used by Psychology Professionals for the purpose of labeling and classifying Mental Diseases and Disorders then the term Headcase is way out of your field of expertise. Like someone mentioned above Anxiety is a certifiable illness that can affect anyone from PTSD to fear of elevators or heights. It is not a joke or sarcastic conotation. It is a disease. Millions are successfully treated annually for episodic and reoccurring incidents. No one escapes it’s potential affliction. It can manifest itself through a simple lifestyle change. It is quite possible that ROJO’s problems last season stemmed from multiple factors confronting a rookie athlete. It is quite possible that his problem has been diagnosed, treated, and cured.

  59. Doctor Stroud Says:

    Ken may be onto something. Here is a quote from Lavonte David in the first game against Tennessee in 2015: “I don’t think we were physical enough. I think we didn’t execute our defense better than they executed their offense. I think a fire wasn’t there. We kind of let that first play, that penalty, knock us off our momentum so we let that get to us. We’ve got to look past that and keep going.”

  60. Swamp Buc Says:

    I definitely agree with joe, in that I want RBs that ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK all day long every single day

    Wake up and ATTACK

    And I’m not gonna lie. I didn’t watch ROJO play a single game in college (not sure if USC qualifies as a real accredited college or not), but when I watched his highlights I was impressed… so I just can’t understand what happened!

    It really makes no sense to me.
    This is the biggest and best opportunity he will ever have to show what he is made of, and I sure hope someone is helping him remember how to

  61. geno711 Says:

    Chesapeake Bucco Says:
    June 17th, 2019 at 12:16 pm

    Good point.

  62. Jean Lafitte Says:

    Making a mountain out of a molehill. When McNair uses the term anxiety, I’m sure he’s suggesting that RoJo has a fear of not fulfilling such lofty expectations of him. I think moving into his second season will allow him to relax more and settle into his role. Plus having WR Justin Watson as his roommate has been a positive influence as well.

  63. Clw JB Says:

    The GM has a history of drafting them very, very young – JW, VHIII, ASJ, ROJO and that’s just off the top of my head

    Kid was not ready to get assaulted by grown arse men and the former HC lack of confidence in rooks was legendary at the RB position at least…check the record

    A year of grooming, learning, hitting the weights and getting a coach that can be a confidant not a hater will do wonders for the kid….

  64. SKBucsFan Says:

    What difference does it make? Our QB already has HDHD.

  65. GoBuxFla Says:

    Or he’s just overrated like most Pac12 players.

  66. Darin Says:

    Man you guys are drama mamas sometimes. Anxiety can be a great thing too. Settle down cowgirls.

  67. Magadude Says:

    If you have anxiety that keeps you from doing your job, two options. Fix it now. Or find another job. Joe is right. Rojo needed to clear any of that up last year…this isn’t a rehabilitative jobs program. Frankly, it looks to me like he’s afraid to take a hit. I’m certain it hurts more in the NFL than in college.

  68. B-Rad Says:

    This joe anyway overreacts to any thing that’s said . Talking about making a mountain out of a mole hill… it must be the off season. What 20 year old rookie playing for the first time does not have some anxiety? It’s just being nervous and how dare you make it sound like a weakness. You took another positive article and made it into a negative story against the team. The only thing that should be written negative about this team should how the owners keep hiring the wrong coaches/gm’s. If Arians can’t turn us around then I hope we start a petition for them to sell the team to someone that knows what they are doing.

  69. BucFan727 Says:

    Doom and paranoia is what Joe is selling. Its what sport pen jockeys have been known to do. The sky is falling!

  70. Jonathan Limpchimpi Says:

    Another Licht Weight whiff on a top 40 pick ( give or take ). There have yet to be consequences for this calamity. I have zero faith in Jones on the NFL level. Think Dexter Jackson the receiver ( not Superbowl MVP ) as a comparable.

  71. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Joe: for someone who has anxiety at just about everything (your articles are the proof of it)…I’m sure Ronald Jones doesn’t lie awake at night thinking about what could’ve been with our 2nd Round pick (59th overall) in the 2016 NFL Draft…So he’s doing a lot better than you, Joe.

  72. chopshopp Says:

    “Doesn’t a team want a running back who craves attacking a defense? A fearless, bold personality who wants the ball and believes he can take it to the house whenever he touches the ball, or at least believes he can get past a tackler or two?”

    THIS is the exact personality we, the GMC non-apologists, expect from our DT. A take no prisoners mentality. It goes for every single player, including the P and K.

  73. BetterBucFan Says:

    Dirt Koetter has a history of bad coaching of rookie runningbacks. Look at Devonta Freeman with the falcons. Did next to nothing his rookie season under Koetter. He left for Tampa, and all of a sudden Freeman became hot stuff.

    Which is why I’m sold on Arians believing in Barber and Jones. My bet is that they were badly used in the DK offensive scheme, and that Arians can fix it. Rojo will be our breakout player this year.

    Also, don’t draft Devonta Freeman in fantasy football this year.

  74. Barack's Crack Pipe Says:

    Reggie Bush 2.0. Something in the water at USC.

    I can’t believe I’m the first person to type this.

  75. BA FAN Says:

    Jones is going to be just fine. He is being developed into an NFL RB by a Pro Asst. Coach hand picked by BA and he knows what he is doing. There also will be holes in the power running scheme for him to break open and promote his confidence. Joe is just finding ways to get plenty of posters all posting their views of Jones during the deadest time of the year to run this site and Joe is a Pro of his business too or this site would not be the hottest Buc’s site for us all to enjoy!

  76. Jolly Bucs Fan Says:

    Black Rifle Coffee is the sh!t. I see Joe has good taste.