The “Battle” At Running Back

June 1st, 2019

Not yet a star.

Could there be a battle for the top spot at bellcow back for the Bucs?

With what the Bucs have on the roster, such a battle would be like watching two four-year-olds in a pillow fight.

In one corner you have Peyton Barber. Wonderful story. Great guy. But after possibly being held back in 2017, with every opportunity to plant his flag at midfield as the Bucs’ primary back, he dropped the pillow.

In the other corner you have second-year running back Ronald Jones. He was so awful last season he would have been better off watching games in street clothes on the sidelines.

And because he has made a couple of plays in underwear football, all of a sudden folks are ready to anoint him as the next Warrick Dunn. Take Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report.

Jones doesn’t have stiff competition for the featured tailback position. Although the Buccaneers re-signed Peyton Barber to a one-year deal, he had a mediocre 2018 campaign, registering 234 carries for 871 yards and five scores on the ground.

Under a new coaching staff, it’s worth watching the battle at running back between Barber and Jones, although both will likely have roles in the backfield.

Moton has Jones listed among the NFL’s “breakout stars.”

Now Joe has hope for RoJo. By all accounts he seems better — how could he not be? And Joe did see one practice play from Jones where he caught a short pass, turned upfield and raced through the defense after the jets kicked in, splitting the defensive backs.

Yes, it was one play. But last year, Joe maybe saw just two plays through all of preseason practices: here and here.

Again, Joe has hope for Jones. Hopefully, he turns a new leaf with a new coaching staff. But until Joe sees Jones make some plays in a game, or at least with pads on, pardon if Joe isn’t quite ready to start throwing roses at Jones’ feet.

51 Responses to “The “Battle” At Running Back”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I think you can discount “underwear” football somewhat…..however, there seems to be a consensus that Rojo is far better prepared this year and looks like a different player with confidence.
    90% of most NFL player’s success are determined by what is going on between their ears.

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

    All RoJo needs is to break one big run…that is his game…Barber and RoJo are two different RB skill sets…it will never be one or the other

  3. Todd Says:

    I have a rich imagination.

    I can totally imagine RoJo having a break-out year under Arians’ watch.

  4. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    One year bust to a one year wonder. We’ll see.

  5. Defense Rules Says:

    TBBF … Excellent point about confidence, but unless our OLine steps it up one big notch in terms of run blocking, neither Barber nor RoJo will excel. And in “underwear football” we have no idea how well this OLine will perform this year. Donovan, Marpet & Jensen are pretty much ‘givens’ but the RT & RT slots are wide open right now far as I’m concerned. And at least one of the starters there may very well not even be on the roster at this point.

  6. Elita Vita Says:

    The least impactful Buc’s player last year to become our number 1 running back this year? That would be amazing. If Arians can make significant improvements in this team’s performance this year it shows how vastly important a head coach is to a team. After all, our only super bowl came after we actually traded for Gruden. Perhaps more emphasis should be placed on scouting coaches rather than players? (Lol… but not really)

  7. Casual Observer Says:

    Better run blocking and blocking schemes would help. New coached give hope.

  8. Bobby M. Says:

    Peyton Barber is the equivalent of Ryan Fitzpatrick……He can play in the league, start some games, even put up tantalizing numbers….at times, but the ideal scenario is your 2nd rd investment at RB should unseat him.

  9. Buc believer Says:

    A “battle” at running back!!! Chuckle Chuckle Snort Snort yeah Rojo is bringing a straw with spitballs and other running backs are being AK 47s . Dude flat out SUCKS!!! He had more attempts than yards last year. That’s almost impossible to do. Just fall forward and he would have had more yards.

  10. Clw JB Says:

    Barber is the same running back as Rhett was – reliable, strong, confident, but doesn’t have the wiggle or after burners to be electric

    Jones is heavy on the latter and low on the former

    If we can get him to 75% effective we will have a very nice one two punch that is young, an important factor at RB

  11. tmaxcon Says:

    a battle between running backs that don’t belong in the NFL is really what we have here….

  12. OneBuc55 Says:

    Rojo was criminally under utilized under Dirk…

    The fact that the coaching staff couldn’t or wouldn’t find innovative ways to use his speed was just sad ..23 carries for the season? smh what a shame…Dirk is just one of those coaches that is loyal to his players to a fault….Jaqcuess Rodgers??? Really??? Why was that guy getting so many carries???

  13. Defense Rules Says:

    @Elita Vita…”After all, our only super bowl came after we actually traded for Gruden.” The HC always gets the credit, but our SB victory is really the story of COMPLEMENTARY FOOTBALL to the extreme.

    The 2001 Bucs went 9-7, made the playoffs but lost the WC game. They had a decent offense (scored 324 pts & ranked #15 in POINTS SCORED & #26 in YARDAGE with almost 4700). Bucs defense was better though (allowed 280 pts & ranked #8 in POINTS ALLOWED & #6 in YARDAGE ALLOWED). That 2001 defense had 28 INTs & 12 FRs, accounting directly for 2 TDs. Not too shabby.

    The 2002 Bucs were even better though. They went 12-4 then won 2 playoff games plus the SB. They had a slightly better offense (scored 346 pts & ranked #18 in POINTS SCORED & #24 in YARDAGE with 5000). Bucs defense was MUCH better though; actually one of the best of all time (allowed 196 pts & ranked #1 in POINTS ALLOWED & #1 in YARDAGE ALLOWED). That 2002 defense had 31 INTs & 9 FRs, accounting directly for FIVE TDs (35 points). IOW, the difference between 2001 & 2002 points scored.

    The 2018 Bucs had 9 INTs & 7 FRs accounting for ONE TD. So 16 turnovers for the defense in 2018 versus 40 turnovers for the Bucs defenses in 2001 & again in 2002. Can you imagine what out 2018 offense could’ve done with 24 more turnovers on the season? COMPLEMENTARY FOOTBALL … that’ll be the story of 2019 I’m betting.

  14. SOEbuc Says:

    Pisses me off talk of Shaun Wilson doesn’t come up in these RB articles. It’s always RoJo talk because he was picked second round and they’re begging for him to pull a 180 from last year when Wilson could be another Licht UDFA diamond in the rough.

    Wilson has great speed, great hands, great shakes, great getting through hole. He had a great PS last year

    Regular season stats:

    Wilson- 6 carries, 29 yards, 4.8 avg in five games.
    Jones- 23 carries, 44 yards, 1.9 avg in nine games.

  15. tmaxcon Says:

    Defense Rules

    why do you people insist on living in the failed past… one good year… that’s IT… they got the job done ONCE…. one and done in the playoffs or not even making the playoffs is FAILURE… 5 career playoff wins those bums have 5….. brady has more rings…. bradshaw has almost as many rings that is legendary… bucs of old were a CRAP team with a highly ranked defense that could not win in the post season…. one and done in the post season regardless of your meaningless rankings is FAILURE… the object of the game is to win the championship… to contend you must be able to win in the post season. bucs have contended twice once under mckay and once under gruden the rest was just failure with a highly ranked defense and a ignorant one dimensional fool coaching the team. one who could not figure out special teams, offense or game day management again that is failure…. bucs have a lot of popular mediocre players but only two great ones and that’s is selmon and sapp… popularity and longevity does not equal greatness….

    that super bowl trophy expired week one of the 2003 season… let it go… people hanging on to one good year nearly 2 decades ago is sad and pathetic… it’s a what have you done for me lately resulsts drivien business not a nostalgic living in the past league.

    lowering the bar of legendary just so it can be used is pathetic. legends earn it on the field not with excuses or popularity. half the ring of underachievement are backups at best on actual contenders.

  16. Erik Hesson - Fine Artist - City of St Pete (formerly known as 'The Kwon Alexander of Bucs Fans') ***Rhealist, louden annoying, & tminimum are the worst posters ever!!! Says:

    Ronald Jones WILL BECOME Jamaal Charles 2.0 this season.

    … I’m going to keep beating that drum, baby…

  17. Allbuccedup Says:

    Bruce Anderson will probably come out on top with the sorry group of running backs we have, and sorry O-line. Rojo no mojo.

  18. ToesOnTheLine!!! Says:

    Still holding our hope for my RoJo story being similar to Melvin Gordon’s. RoJo was dinged up last year…just a perfect storm of things (bad O-line run blocking, a HC that had little trust in a rookie’s pass protection, hamstring injuries, and (allegedly) a bit of immaturity). I don’t have a crystal ball that shows the future, but I do believe, barring injury, RoJo will firmly establish himself as the lead dog in the Bucs RB rotation this season.

  19. JimmyJack Says:

    I don’t see it as a battle. Don’t think Ronald will ever be a bellcow.

    A great scenario is if we can get somebody(maybe Ronald or Wilson) to compliment Barber. Until that happens Peyton Barber is our main guy.

    Barber is an ideal fit to be a 1b RB in this league. Or to be a 2nd string RB if we ever find a guy like Zeke Elliot or Leveon Bell…….RoJo is not Zeke or Bell.

  20. JimmyJack Says:

    Erik…….What are you basing this on? Whatever logic your using I’ll use the same to say that Carlton Davis will become Rod Woodson 2.0.

  21. Cobraboy Says:

    I will be surprised if Jones does NOT have a break-out season.

    Koetter never wanted the guy and it showed.

  22. Oregonbucsfan Says:

    I don’t have a crystal ball that shows the future, but I do believe, barring injury, RoJo will firmly establish himself as a total flop as a 2nd round pick. This guy will sink the SS Licht.

  23. teacherman777 Says:

    I just hope Rojo saw the pictures of Christian McCafreys’ arms.

    Rojo needs to be questioned by @joe about Rojos need to put on upper body weight.

    Straight up. Rojo needs to emulate Christian McCafreysnd get bigger.

    @joe -Please ask him. It will be helpful for his career.

  24. Pryda...Sec147 Says:

    They’re so young I definitely think they need time to cook. He will earn his spot. I am confident in BA he knows what he is doing. Fix that run game and play average defense let Jaboo M1k3 OJ Godwin do the rest

  25. DBS Says:

    And the List Continues to grow . Now by 2 running backs. But then I told you it would.

  26. TexBuc Says:

    Properly designed run blocking schemes and when a run play is called can make all the difference in the world. The whole left to center of the OL to me looks like better man blockers than zone. Just my opinion but I believe we would far better sticking to man power blocking than zone runs not too many OL we have are quick of feet.

  27. webster Says:


    What about defenserules comment do you not understand? He clearly stated COMPLIMENTARY FOOTBALL. Brady, Bradshaw? Name one of their superbowl teams that did not play complimentary football. For your slow mind, that is offense, defense and special teams. Blaming the bucs defense that finished top 10 in both scoring and yards for 10 straight years when the offense sucked for 9 of those 10 years is beyond idiotic. That defense was more than good enough to win more champonships if they would have played COMPLIMENTARY FOOTBALL. Just like you dont blame the offense today for the loses it has incurred. You have blamed mccoy and the defense. I really didnt ever want to respond to ever again since you made jokes about dungy losing his son which is truly disgusting and makes you less than a human being and gutter trash. You sir really need to seek help.

  28. webster Says:

    Top 10 in turnovers as well. The only defensive team in nfl history to do that sir. Seek help.

  29. Reach87 Says:

    Texbuc, concur. When it all boils down I think it will be about a consistent cohesive line. You could argue the zone scheme bit us a lot last year in that we weren’t mobile enough somewhere ( it wasn’t always the same spot) along the line, allowing too much penetration and hence our RBs got hit or trapped behind the LOS way too much and too soon to make a move even if they had better quicks. The zone would break down mostly somewhere between the guards most times, but not always….sometimes it was on the edge (which is where a more elusive RB can mitigate the breakdown. Execute the zone scheme better (sounds simple but it’s not…perhaps some creative slot or TE help) or go man and see what happens. Training camp will set the table and demonstrate what we’re better suited for. I actually think it will be primarily zone with slot motion to eventually feed PA and shots down the field. But I trust we’ll execute differently and more effectively. Go Bucs!

  30. BucEmUp Says:

    Arians will get coach of the year award ….AGAIN!!!!!!!!

  31. Billy_43 Says:

    This team is Waaaaay better than this site and many others give them credit for.
    Also easy to say before they have played a game I get it.

    Rojos play was a perfect example of how inept Koetter was as a head coach.

    Take Rojos age and that fact and it was the perfect storm for everyone calling Rojo a bust.

    That’s why we have breakout stars from the basement every year.
    Perriman could be another example of this.

    One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

  32. JimmyJack Says:

    I could be wrong but didn’t Dirk’s offense try to run the ball mostly to the right side? And didn’t Bruce say that runblocking wasn’t DeMar Dotsons(right side) strong suite.

    I don’t know much about run blocking schemes but I would wager that the above comments are correct that we were running a scheme that our players were not good at. That would explain why Dirk inherited a top 5 running team and completely ruined it.

    Another thing I noticed that this team has been doing is throwing many deep passes to the sidelines. This is not what Winston is good at. He is a much better thrower down the post and seams. I got very angry listening to a Bucs podcast earlier this week and learned that Winston made most of his plays down the middle in college. Not the sidelines. It really ticked me off to hear that!!!

    I can only hope that Bruce isn’t full of it when he says that his players are his scheme. If he practices what he preaches I can easily see us being a competitive team this year……might even be able to contend.

  33. SenileSenior Says:


    In addition to working on his passing game RoJo has worked on toughening his calf and thigh muscles so that he can bounce off his first hit and keep going.

    Let’s also see if his playing weight his much higher than 208 pounds this year.

    He made a big mistake in coming out early for the draft last year. He underestimated the leap.

    Lindy’s Sports, Pro Football Draft (2018) said this. “Weaknesses: Tall and lean-muscled, lacking an ideal build for the position. Lacks move-the-pile power. … NFL Comparison: Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs —With the body types, explosive runs …, the Charles comparisons are unavoidable.” They graded him 8.2 (out of 9.0), Pro Bowl Caliber, anyway.

    The Bucs (Licht and Koetter) made a mistake too. They should have had a plan for “redshirting” him but it appears they did not. The practical result is almost the same but it would have gone better if they had an actual plan for his development.

    I think BA and staff will “fix” that mistake. I look for a bright future for Ronald Jones II after all.
    Go Bucs!!!

  34. Barbosa Says:

    I don’t see a battle so much as a compliment to one another’s style, like thunder and lightning Dunn and alstott. Rojo has a lot to prove and he has not done a damn thing yet on this league. Here’s hoping he plays up to his drafted status.

  35. Allbuccedup Says:

    Rojo ran a 4.65 at the combine. Sorry that’s not a break away runner.

  36. Race to 10 Says:

    Kills me how people call guys a bust like right out of rookie training camp and everyone did it but because media that never played professional think they have this high football IQ suddenly he couldn’t be in the mix to start based on last year with one of the worst coaches in franchise history. He better be in the mix because very few players on this roster should be gifted a starting job. Let the best man win and for the record I think rojo will eventually be a really good back.

  37. #1bucsfan Says:

    Tmaxipad why do you insist on being a cancer?

  38. tmaxcon Says:


    i understood perfectly what he was writing. you like so many others that prefer to hang on to a failed past need help… the constant references to those underachieving bums is tiresome and pathetic… they won one damn super bowl that expired nearly two decades ago… let the bums go. the non stop comparisons is ridiculous and irrelevant. lf those fools were actually contenders for a decade plus than maybe they earn legendary status. but one hit wonders that hang on too long are pathetic not legendary. certainly not role models for young players wanting to dominate. the hanging on to this fools is so pathetic and is one of the main reasons bucfan is laughed at worldwide. 55 and barber are backups on any of the raven championship teams and of course the 85 bears they are in street clothes inactive… no one confuses popularity with greatness like low standard bucfan…

  39. Ndog Says:

    Tmax simple said you have reach full idiot status with this comment below:

    55 and barber are backups on any of the raven championship teams and of course the 85 bears they are in street clothes inactive…

    Dude you just said a first ballot HOF player would have been a back up on another team. Dude it’s time to go…

    BTW there is thing called consistentacy and the Bucs defense was the apitamy of that, with 10 years of excellence, where as the Ravens and Bears defenses were great for 2-3 years tops.

  40. webster Says:


    U have understood nothing. Brady would not win superbowls if his defense sucked just like an all time defense cant win if the offense sucks. You are an idiot. The ravens only have 2 first ballot hof just like the bucs. 85 bears? What did they do outside of 85. That is the epitome of one hit wonders. The bucs defense lost a game to the giants in 98 when they gave up 112 yards of offense. They lost 14-7 because dilfer threw 2 pick sixes. You blame the defense? You are moron trash. Pretty basic. I would think you could understand basic seeing that you are basic. I guess marino, farve, kelly, brees, aaron rodgers etc are all bums because they only won one or no superbowls. You are a trash idiot.

  41. Eric Says:

    At this point id take some Nathan Wonsley numbers.

  42. JimmyJack Says:

    Brooks is a HOF you ever loving moron.

    Barber was a great player too you unintelligent sack of crap.

    You are a very special type of stupid.

  43. webster Says:


    I gotta say, i respect your posts. I havent been around much in the past 8 months or so because of job, family things etc but i try to stop by and read from time to time. I respect you holding it down for knowledgeable fans. I do not have the patience to argue with some of these fans about topics such as winston as you do. I commend you sir with your tenacity. I could definitely sit and have a beer with you and have a great conversation about our favorite team the bucs even if we may not agree. Why? Because i know and i hope you know the opinions are not coming from a mallace place. Hat tip to you sir.

  44. Eric Says:

    How about when they held the greatest show on earth to 11 points? And the lone td was a lucky catch.

  45. webster Says:

    One last thing to tmax. You are such an idiot. Brooks was a great high school player, all american in college and due to his size and speed, the nfl teams wanted to make him a safety. He refused to visit teams coming into the draft that wanted to make him a safety. In that time, brooks was considered undersized for a linebacker. Now and since brooks has been in the league, every team is looking for the derrick brooks linebacker. He REVOLUTIONIZED the position you idiot. Barber? Ditto when it comes to nickle back play seeing that teams play nickle 70% of the time. You are a grade A Idiot!!!!

  46. webster Says:

    Barber? Idiot go back and look at the nfc championship game and not just the int barber made. Go back and watch and listen. Chris collingsworth at one point in that game said “i have never seen a defensive player play this great in a championship moment as barber is today.” Look at how many passed defense he had. Look at the sack fumbles he had. You can google that game by the way. He was all over the field. You are a certified idiot Tmax

  47. Jameis Almighty! Says:

    There is JV football in college. Licht should uncover his next diamond in the rough at one of those games. Be better than these big school RBs they have now.

  48. Jameis Almighty! Says:

    Ronde Barber won’t make the HOF because he’s an unlikeable pereon and a certified Jameis Basher. ronde sucks now and they should ask him for his ring back

  49. PriMech54 Says:

    Joe, just quit posting about the runningback position, dude. It’s really annoying how you seem to not understand run blocking schemes being the main catalyst to whether or not a RB succeeds. Phillip Lindsay was an UDFA and ripped off 1,000 yards and 9 touchdowns. That alone pretty much dismantles your credibility. Texbuc gave a pretty solid breakdown of how running the wrong scheme can blow up in your face if you don’t have the athleticism or technique up front. Example: try to run a zone blocking scheme with guards who lack quickness in their feet. Try to run a power blocking scheme with guards who don’t have enough strength and are slow to the designed pulls.

    The result? a 20 year old running back getting hit behind the LOS 13 out of 23 times being labeled a ‘bust’. Lol.

    and to all the strutting pigeons: Peyton Barber is a pro running back that can tote the rock well enough for the offense to be efficient. He’s physical and punishes people in the second level of the defense. You don’t need a superstar RB in the NFL to be a legit playoff caliber team. Arians knows this.

    Don’t let this be the hill you die on.

  50. tmaxcon Says:


    55 was carried to the hall on sapps coattails overrated bum who held on way to long… 5 career playoff wins is laughable not legendary

    Raise your standards its sad to fall for 1 year wonders…

    Maybe if 55 was intelligent enough to beat Vince young in elementary level jeopardy I’d respect the bum…. go storm

  51. JimmyJack Says:

    Most teams in this league have never once had a LB as great as Brooks. Players as great as Brooks come around only once in a generation. That’s exactly what makes him legendary you ever loving moron.

    You don’t even know about your fav player Sapp because if you did you would of heard him talk about how great Brooks and Barber were.

    Brooks was a first ballot HOF and I’m positive that nobody that watched the NFL in that era would disagree.

    You are a special type of stupid bro. If you ever get to see another LB as great as Brooks in your life you will be a lucky man. Yet you are too ignorant to realize it. In the end that makes you the biggest loser.