Jones’ Shot At Redemption

July 21st, 2019

Damning history

Now earlier this month manbeast intern Zach Seifter did research to demonstrate that all is not lost for Bucs running back Ronald Jones.

However, further study suggests Jones will have to make a rare turnaround to become an effective NFL running back.

Dallas Robinson of Pro Football Rumors details how ugly it is for Jones and his quest for redemption.

The USC product is expected to be a larger part of the Bucs’ offense this season. He’s generated some buzz by gaining 13 pounds over the offseason, but adding weight has historically not been a recipe for success for running backs.

Jones’ lack of production in his first NFL season was relatively unprecedented, especially for a second-round pick. Here are the all first- or second-round round running backs since 2010 that handled fewer than 100 carries during their respective rookie years, via

You can see the list Robinson dug up right here. It’s not pretty.

Just for additional research, Joe ran a search on on running backs drafted in the first or second round this decade who had less than 30 rushing attempts their rookie seasons. No first-round pick of a running back had fewer than 30 carries. It’s a gnarly list.

Because of this Robinson suggests the Bucs have no logical reason not to give unsigned running back Jay Ajayi a test drive.

Could Jones turn things around? Sure. But he’s got a steep climb. If somehow Jones does it, the Bucs offense could be electric.

31 Responses to “Jones’ Shot At Redemption”

  1. Lunchbox Says:

    Bring Ajai in? Definitely. Kick the tires, see how he’s doing. If Jones can hang and it pushes Anderson or Odewhatever his name is out? So what? It’s called due diligence. Do it.

  2. Buc1987 Says:

    Good luck Ronald Jones.

  3. Buczilla Says:

    When healthy, Ajayi is a good running back and I would feel a lot better about our running back situation if we picked him up. You’ve got to have insurance just in case Jones flops again.

  4. DB55 Says:

    Ajayi dealt with hamstring, rib, shoulder, head, and shoulder issues in the NFL before suffering another torn ACL — this time, on his left knee — in 2018.- Dallas Robinson

    I was on the Jay Ajayi bandwagon too but that’s a lot of injuries. I’d still sign him though at the right price like the 2 mill Ryan Smith is making cough cough.

    I’d say it’s Barber and RoJo’s jobs to lose. If my crystal is working then I’d say it’s Anderson at 1 and Barber at 2 by week 4.

    TIL that Bruce Anderson is a Matt Forte/David Johnson Clone according to JJ Stankevitz and the guys over at NbcSports Chicago. Now, we’ve heard this all before with currently unemployed Charles Sims but I think Anderson may actually have some skills, but wtfdik. Luckily we’ll find out in 2 long weeks.

  5. Destinjohnny Says:

    Life with the leagues worst gm….

  6. Sport Says:

    If any of you yahoos truly believe Rojo got a fair deal last year, you are beyond help.

    Did he have rookie jitters? Most likely.
    Did he have a head coach that doesn’t develop young running backs? Yep
    Did our previous coach require running backs to be.great at blocking/picking up blitzes? Yep
    Did the defenses key on him when he was in the game (aka hit in the backfield)? Yep

    Is he a bust because of those circumstances? Not even close

    Give the kid at least this year to figure it out. Then we can talk.

    I could care less about digging up history on situations like this, a complete waste of time and an excellent reason to extend the season, because these last few weeks are freakin tedious.

    In BA I Trust!

  7. Defense Rules Says:

    This year’s Bucs are FAR from a finished product. We’ve got a number of players who’ve been retained by BA & company … for the time being … to see if they can be ‘resurrected’ in training camp and contribute to a winning TEAM this year.

    RoJo happens to be one of them. Spence is another. So is Benenoch & several others. IF they make the team, then great, the Bucs benefit from their improved play. IF they don’t show that they can benefit the team, then I have no doubt that BA will cut them before training camp ends and sign a replacement from cutdowns of other teams.

    Beyond that, RoJo will cost us $1.6 mil in salary Cap to ‘keep’ this year. If we cut him, that cost rises to $3.2 mil in dead Cap money, PLUS whoever we sign to replace him. Several 2nd, 3rd & 4th year players who were high draft picks fall in the same boat (VHIII, MJ Stewart for instance). In any event, we’re a long way from a ‘final-53’ roster. Would much rather see what our OLine looks like this year before throwing any RBs onto the trash heap.

  8. Conte Piscatelli Says:

    Just for consideration, Devonte Freeman had just 65 carries as a rookie averaging 3.8 yrds per. The relevance is he was one of the last rookie running backs coached by Dirk ( I need backs that can block) koetter.


    Oh Come’ on!!!!

    You are acting like the past of other players has anything to do with Jones.

    Where is the logic there?!?!?

    Next you will write how BA had multiple Coach of the Year awards!!!!!

    Come’ on dude make some sense on your writing. SMH

    This season the GOATS will learn what true fans has known all along!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! lol

    Go Bucs!!!!!!

  10. RegularGuyMy2Cents Says:

    Just to think — we could have used this 2nd round pick for a kicker!

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

    5 days…….

  12. ARGH_M8E Says:

    Off topic…… Keith Thurman needs a new Bucs jersey. In more ways than one! Maybe these jerseys we have are cursed. Haven’t won a damn thing since we got rid of our beautiful Super Bowl winning unis

  13. Bobby M. Says:

    I think the expectation is there will be cuts….there’s always a few surprises that the Bucs might go after.

  14. Adrian Owens Says:

    And to think, Joe — we could have used this 2nd round pick for a kicker!

  15. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    If Rojo had gotten anywhere close to 100 carries, things may have been a lot different. Instead, he got less than 25% of that.

    Notice he had to compare RBs who had 3-4 times as many opportunities? Because Rojo got so few because of Koetter’s blind loyalty to Barber.

    So I put absolutely no stock in this story. Rojo had 23 opportunities. That’s it. And 10 of them were in only one game. He just started warming up. He even scored a touchdown in that game. And then he was yanked off the field again.

    How is a player going to adjust to full NFL contact if he does not get to experience it? Hmn?

  16. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I know it’s a bit late to suggest this, but for off season articles, a break down on position groups could be nice. Unbiased, of course. Or as close to unbiased as possible.

  17. Jeff Says:

    Inept coaching and lazy blocking doomed Jones year 1

  18. ToesOnTheLine!!! Says:

    I’m sure there were a lot of factors last season that doomed RoJo. Alleged playbook and immaturity issues were on him, but when your O-line is one of the worst run blocking lines in the league, when you are dealing with a mid-season hamstring injury, when your HC doesn’t trust you to pass protect, and when your team is typically chucking the rock trying to play catch up in games (be it from the QB having a bad game of throwing multiple picks, a drive killing holding penalty, or a defense that regularly couldn’t get off the field or stop a scoring drive). In my mind this year is a clean slate for RoJo to live up to the hype.

  19. Race to 10 Says:

    There is no logic to the article and there is no steep climb, he’ll be a better back or he won’t. You just wont call him a bust because you don’t want to look foolish if you’re wrong. No one as a rookie has already hit their ceiling so to me just another exaggerated article.

  20. WestChap Says:

    Agree with @Sport. It was coaching malpractice to not give RoJo more carries… Koetter was still coaching “for his job” when we entered December with a 4-7 record. No way were we going to win out and make the playoffs… so who cares if we go 0-5 (or our actual 2-3), Koetter was dead man walking either way. Just like dumping Smith, someone should have forced him to play RoJo to see what we had and maybe give him a chance to play his way out of whatever funk he was in. The USC tape doesn’t lie… he has talent.

  21. BA FAN Says:

    We need to use our remaining cap space to hire a Veteran RT now unless BA is going to give Liedtke a shot at RG since he is a Veteran Guard. If Jones does bomb and gets cut BA will pickup a cut RB during the 53 man roster cutdown.
    Anderson and Ogunbowale can both backup Barber if he goes down while a new RB learns our system. I think Anderson also should get some reps as a third down back which he can hold down too! We have enough CBs especially since some of our Safeties also have the ability to play Press man to man CB until Smith returns so we don’t need Claiborne now. We offered him a job early on and he refused and is still unemployed. Fine! If we have CB injuries then maybe get him at Veteran minimum.

  22. BucEmUp Says:

    Who wants to lose some money? Doubters of Jones are welcome.

  23. #1bucsfan Says:

    Agreed BONZI 23 carries is not a lot to go off. Koetter has never used rookie running backs. It doesn’t make any sense I mean even JOE wrote about it wen koetter kept saying running backs need to block which is tru but he made it sound like that’s all they need to do. Sorry koetter but running backs need to run the ball an ketch but jokes on koetter it’s one of the reasons he’s not a head coach any more. If an I know it’s a big if but what if Rojo breaks out this year. It will make koetter look so bad lol

  24. Buccaneerscotty Says:

    He will be fine Relax……

  25. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Did Warrick Dunn block at first?

  26. Cobraboy Says:

    If the Glazers knew Koetter was not being retained, I wish they’d have required him to play Jones and Cappa more to accelerate their development or prove they are busts.

    I don’t see how any knowledgeable fan can opine about Jones fit in the NFL without the context of coaching.

    Stats be damned.

  27. Destinjohnny Says:

    How did all this bad coaching work for Peyton Barber ??
    And the rest of the number one ranked offense?

  28. Cobraboy Says:

    @@Destinjohnny: may have held hin back. We shall see.

  29. Buccaroo Says:

    There’s a reason why Jay Ajayi is out of work. He can’t stay healthy. I’d much rather have a healthy less used RoJo than an expensive often hurt Ajayi. Plus I think Bruce Anderson and Dare Ogunbowale are better than Ajayi at this point.

  30. Jeffbuc Says:

    Man I’m a very positive bucs fan but those stats are horrible. And you guys thinking it was all coaching are just setting yourself up for failure. Saw the list of all 1st and 2nd round runningbacks drafted and not one had under a 3ypc average. Jones had a 1.9 he was awful that can’t be all coaching. It could be that he was overwhelmed and really immature at only 20 years old. But to bank on him for anything g would be foolish. If he was a 5th round pick or later he would have been cut already. I am sick and tired as a bucs fan of waiting on a players potential. It’s every offseason we are hoping 8 recent high draft picks finally live up to there potential. And every year they don’t and the next year it’s the same hype story. Vernon heargraves, Noah Spence, Donavan Smith, Justin Evans, Ronald Jones. Good teams don’t take up roster spots for 4-5 years hoping a player reaches his potential. Give another player a chance. Every year there is a undrafted player that exceeds expectations. Give someone else a chance I’m so sick of the every year this player is going to finally be good. How many Noah Spence changed his body stories did we hear last offseason only to watch him looked overmatched in the 4th quarter of preseason games. But as a die hard maybe this is the year all these up to this point bust reach there potential and we shock the world

  31. SOEbuc Says:

    Drop all your good money on a RG. He’s got a year under him now and much better coaching. He must learn to git through the holes up the middle. This aint the Pac-12 where you can just bounce out and run guys over.